How to find out what your customers need

Marketing is the process by which we find and keep customers by meeting their needs in a way that allows us to realise significant profits. It is therefore important to understand our customers’ needs before we can sell to them and this article will tell you exactly how to find out what your customers need. This is a key factor in determining the success and eventual growth of your business.

A good marketing strategy is one that helps a company to achieve the following 3 things:

1. Find new customers

  • it puts in place mechanisms to identify potential customers and channels to conveniently reach or be accessible to them

2. Retain existing customers

  • coming up with mechanisms to encourage customers to make repeat purchases e.g. Satisfying them, reminding them you exist and giving them enough reasons to miss you and want to do more business with you.

3. Grow your customer base

  • getting existing customers to buy more of your products or services as well as recommending them to their colleagues and ultimately resulting in eventual sales.

Finding out what your customers want

The process of satisfying the customer’s needs begins with first finding out what those needs are. One should go beyond finding out the basic needs and try to pinpoint the key areas that would add value to the customer and translate into sales. Identifying the customer’s needs and going the extra mile to satisfy them will give your company the competitive edge by distinguishing your products as well as building the relationship crucial to growing your business.

Here are a few pointers to help you find out more about your customers and their needs.

Talk to them- first create a conducive environment for them to give honest feedback and then ask as many questions as they are willing to answer.
Watch what your competitors are doing and how they present themselves.
Ask your suppliers and colleagues in business – having been exposed, they can provide more information on customer preferences, concerns and tastes.
Use the internet to get information about new trends, competitors and how to enhance your product or service.
Read everything you can that pertains to your certain industry. Find out about new trends, research, technology and even legislation relating to your business sector.

What exactly should I ask my customers?

Use the following questions to guide you as you talk to your customers. You can add more specific and detailed questions that are tailored to acquire information related to your industry or sector.

• What good or service do you want to buy?

• How much are you willing to pay for it?

• How would you want the product or service delivered or presented to you?

• What do you think about our competitors?

• Are there any needs that are not being met?

Do I really need to go out and talk to people?

One common and very critical mistake that entrepreneurs make is going off assumptions and neglecting the actual market research process. When one gets a business idea, there is a tendency to get caught up in the hype and assume that their product is so perfect it will sell itself without them first engaging the customers. The only way you can know what customers want is by talking to them. This calls for one to actually go out and ask actual people what their pain points are, and how they would want their needs satisfied. Talking to customers will also highlight other needs and sensitivities which desktop research might not. In some cases, you might find yourself having to abandon an entire business idea to focus on new needs which your customers will highlight during your interaction with them.

Talking to customers will:

• Let you know exactly what to provide
• Redirect your focus towards what really matters
• Give you new ideas and opportunities
• Give you information on your competitors’ weaknesses
• A relationship with your customers and potential customers

I hope that you have found this article very helpful and we look forward to sharing the 7 strategies to successfully market your product or service. Remember to like and share this article with other individuals that might find it useful. You can also download our Business builder- Small Business Management Suite from Google Playstore. It will help you start and geow your business.

I genuinely wish you happiness, health and wealth.

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