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How To Dive Into The Mind Of Your Customer And Understand Exactly What They Want

How do you understand customers needs


Table of Contents

  • Step 1: Start with Context
  • Step 2: Ask Questions
  • Step 3: Learn Their Language
  • Step 4: Listen Without Interrupting
  • Step 5: Get Feedback From Others
  • Step 6: Challenge Assumptions
When starting and even running a well-established business, understanding your customers’ needs and how they change over time is essential to developing winning products and services. 
These Six Steps will help you to analyze your customer’s needs and then come up with ways to respond to them. Try this process on an existing product or service or something you’re considering offering, and let us know how it goes in the comment section below.
Step 1: Start with Context
Understanding your customers is crucial to any business. It’s not enough to know what they buy, you need to know why they buy, where they purchase products like yours, and how often. 
The best way to start understanding who your customers are is by researching the broader market surrounding your industry. Be sure to look at the customer touchpoints (places they have contact with suppliers or brands) before and after purchasing your product for you to tailor marketing messages based on their needs.
You’ll also want to study competition and markets that could potentially become future opportunities. If you don’t know where to start, seek out an expert or use software that fits your field to help guide you. 
There are many tools available to make researching easier than ever. Pro-tip, Google Trends will give you insights into which topics people are searching for more than others, making it easy to see your potential customer’s concerns. 
Step 2: Ask Questions
Where does your customer find you? Where do they spend their time? How do they respond to the product or service that you offer? 
If a competitor offered them the same thing, would they go with your competitor instead of choosing you? These questions will help you understand your customer’s interest and why.
Once you know this, it becomes much easier to know how best to satisfy them. For example, if someone spends all of their time on social media, you need to ensure that your company is present there.
Step 3: Learn Their Language
Learning how to speak your customers’ language is a key step in understanding them. You need to know how they speak to convey your message effectively. Get down on their level, find out what terminology they use, and what words they have that you don’t understand. 
Figure out where they get their information so you can go there too. If you do all of this, you’ll be much better able to make yourself understood by your customers – and more able to provide the solutions they’re looking for.
Step 4: Listen Without Interrupting
One of the most important steps of understanding customers is by listening. They can tell you exactly what they need, what they want, and what’s important to them without interrupting. 
But more importantly, if you’re able to listen with empathy and without judgment, you’ll be able to hear their worries and concerns as well. This step is key in understanding customers and the marketplace so that you can build your product or service around what they need.
Step 5: Get Feedback From Others
As we’ve discussed, understanding your customers is critical. It’s not enough to just understand what they say they want: you need to go deeper and understand their motivations, desires, and frustrations. 
You can do this in many ways listening in on customer service calls, asking open-ended questions during one-on-one interactions, or simply observing them while they use your product or services. But the most effective way is to gather feedback from others who have interacted with them.
Step 6: Challenge Assumptions
We’ve covered a lot of ground up until this point, but let’s recap for a moment. You’ve researched the industry and found what your particular market segment needs. 
You also know your customer personas, their pain points, goals, desired features and how they’re using the current solutions in the marketplace. So now it’s time to challenge some of those assumptions you have based on all this information. 
Challenge all those assumptions by giving a positive response, offering solutions, adding bonus products or services to solve the problem or challenge and giving good recommendations, if it is something that your product or service can’t cover.
Successful entrepreneurs or businesses understand the importance of understanding customers and the marketplace. They use market research methods such as surveys, focus groups, interviews, or observation to find out what customers want, how they want it delivered, and why they need it.
Businesses that don’t take this extra step often fail because they ignore what customers want or can’t serve them well enough. Now you know the importance of understanding your customers. 
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