How do you know what your customer wants?

Managers are endlessly reminded that they need to deliver what the customer wants and in these socially connected times it should be easier than ever to determine exactly what they do want. But still they get it wrong.

What are the ways in which a modern business, operating online and in the real world, can track and predict what customers really want? Inc.com believes there are five key factors to be aware of:

  • Customers are less loyal and far less trusting than they used to be. This is especially true in industries whose reputations suffered during the financial crisis—including banking, pharmaceuticals, energy, airlines and media
  • Consumers have more power than ever before, thanks to social media, and easy on-line comparison-shopping – there is more choice
  • Customer diversity continues to increase, putting a premium on micro-segmentation and deep customer insight – you need to get hold of this data
  • By increasing the noise-to-data ratio, the data deluge occasioned by the Internet can actually make it harder to understand your customers – despite all those promises that you can understand more by monitoring in more depth
  • Economic uncertainty and data overload confuse customers as well, making them less interested in products than solutions.

It’s not easy to change how you gather information on your customers, but in this type of business environment it is essential. Customers are footloose, a better choice is out there, and they often opt for ‘easy’ rather than ‘cheap’ just because of the deluge of information.

Model for identifying customer needs

 

Photo by Vegard Iglebaek licensed under Creative Commons

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