Everyone has two jobs to do. One: Do your work. And two: Improve your work.
In order to improve your work you must eliminate waste. To figure out what waste is in your company ask the question whether the work or activity you’re doing is valuable to the consumer. In other words, would your customers be willing to pay for it?
In order to know what your customers find valuable, and are willing to pay you for, you must first understand your customers’ needs.
There are some simple ways to understand customer needs.
One way is to take on the mindset of your customer. Start thinking like your customer by doing external research to understand trends in the industry. Learn more about the common challenges that your customers face, and better assess how your product or services can provide solutions.
Another way to learn more about your customers’ needs is to analyze your CRM database. Your centralized database is a treasure trove of information about your customers and prospects.
Use the data you’ve collected over the years to better understand who your customer is and what they’re trying to accomplish. Build a list of your Ideal customers based on their profile and learn how to help these specific customers more effectively.
If you don’t have a centralized database or your ideal customer profile isn’t clear, there’s no time like the present to get started.
Of course, an even more effective way to understand your customers is to conduct online, in-person, and telephone surveys and by collecting feedback and data through your website and your customer service and support channels.
By asking your current and prospective customers directly, you can obtain invaluable data points and open-ended feedback that will provide a much more accurate picture than relying on internal assessments and assumptions.
You can then analyze these insights to feed into virtually every aspect of your business, from planning and strategy, to product development, and day-to-day operations.
No matter what you discover from your research and analysis, the key is to convert the results into intelligence that you can use in your continuous improvement efforts. Taking the time and making an investment in understanding customer needs is a wise choice in determining what your customer values and is willing to pay for.
Ultimately, understanding your customers is arguably the most important fundamental strategy in driving sales growth and securing the long-term success of your business.