The adage “If you build it, they will come” is untrue when it comes to developing a product, offering a service, or conducting business. In reality, the reverse is true, as 66% of customers want a sales representative to customize solutions for them. They don’t want vendors to create and market products they believe customers would want. They want them to design their products, sales procedures, and customer experiences around their particular problems, goals, difficulties, and requirements.
However, recognizing the demands that a successful firm (and its sales strategy) depends on is more difficult than simply checking off a list of expectations. Because each company’s clients are unique, they should take the time to determine which expectations are most important to them, then satisfy — or surpass — those expectations.
Here are a few ways a company might determine the unique demands of its clients.
Customer feedback collection, analysis, and action may provide a business a significant competitive advantage over rivals. Although it may seem like a simple strategy, just 47% of consumers believe that most businesses act on customer input, even though 89% of consumers say an organization should provide them the chance to contribute feedback. It’s a clear chance for businesses to show that they value hearing from their clients and adapting to better suit their demands.
Social media postings, on-site prompts or chat boxes, on- and off-site reviews, and other methods can all be used to collect customer feedback. No matter how a company solicits and gathers customer feedback, it’s critical to ask customers open-ended questions about:
- Their opinions on the website
- They have access to information about goods and services.
- Their communications with retailers, customer support personnel, etc.
- How their goods or services address (or fail to address) their problems
- What changes may be made to their offerings to better fulfill their needs?
The company should then regularly examine client feedback to spot important trends and patterns. If they do go on to make changes to their goods, services, sales procedure, or customer care approach, they have to be upfront with customers about the modification and credit client input as the driving force behind their choice. This will demonstrate their desire to meet the demands of their clients and assist them build consumer trust.
It could be a good idea to start performing user research right away if your product and/or service teams haven’t already. There are several reasons to avoid conducting user research (such as a lack of time, money, or resources, or the belief that consumers are illiterate about their needs), although doing so can have an impact on a number of indicators that are important to revenue, such as:
- Customer acquisition – You may start to adjust your messaging and engagement methods for more conversions by performing user research that gathers information on how your audience interacts with your sellers, your website, and your entire brand.
- Customer retention: It is considerably less expensive to keep an existing customer than to get a new one, but how satisfied are your current customers with your company, your goods and services, and your customer service? User research enables your teams to pinpoint the objectives, pain spots, and potential problems of individual clients so that they may rectify their path before defecting to a rival.
- Referrals – A staggering 92% of individuals say they prefer word-of-mouth recommendations above any other kind, but consumers who make such recommendations must be ready to risk their own reputations in doing so. Your company may identify and address any product, service, or other issues that might be preventing customers from recommending your brand to their peers with confidence by performing user research.
Don’t forget that if you don’t properly plan for the process, user research may be expensive and extremely time-consuming. To guarantee success, pick a research strategy that is appropriate for your market, target market, and goods and services. You should also gain early stakeholder support and integrate your research with overarching corporate objectives.
While consumer feedback might assist you in gathering more lengthy, thorough comments, surveys can help your team rapidly learn about particular areas that need improvement. They are useful for assessing overall consumer satisfaction to forecast retention and sales of goods or services. It’s critical to keep in mind that customer surveys are only genuinely effective if they contain the relevant questions and are applied at the appropriate moment. As a result, be sure to:
- Keep customer surveys succinct and to the point.
- Get rid of any superfluous inquiries that aren’t related to your main points.
- Send surveys at critical junctures in the purchasing process (like directly after a demo, immediately following a purchase, or prior to a potential subscription renewal)
- To minimize misunderstanding, use rating scales that are consistent (1–10, where 1 is for severely unhappy and 10 is for extremely satisfied).
- Leave out the leading inquiries since they can annoy customers and bias your results.
- Give clients that participate rewards (such discounts or entries into a drawing).
Your team can employ on-page popup surveys on the business website, build in-product surveys, or distribute them via email. Never be hesitant to experiment with several approaches until you find one that generates a lot of involvement.
Interviews with the sales and service teams
When it comes to consumer demands, several people of your sales and service teams probably have their ears to the ground. Put them to use since they are constantly interacting with clients and potential clients and their insights are priceless.
Ask these team members what issues, demands, or wants they commonly hear from clients and potential consumers. They should already be well-versed about the greatest customer pain spots, the flaws in your business, and the improvements your customers want to see if they’re performing their jobs well and leading with empathy.
Understanding your own offers, setting growth targets, figuring out your company’s distinctive differentiators, and making wise decisions that help you surpass consumer expectations all depend on conducting competitive research on your rivals.
This should go far further than just looking through their social media accounts or Google Ads; it should also involve a thorough examination of the company’s history, their biggest clients, and the areas in where they are succeeding or falling short of consumer expectations. Investigate the tactics they’re employing (and whether or not they’re effective), and if required, think about utilizing them yourself. Don’t be scared to examine their flaws and take advantage of them by addressing the holes at your own business.
Analysis of the search environment, keyword research, and social listening
Customers use search engines like Google to satisfy all of their whims, therefore it’s crucial to comprehend the terms and phrases they use to find solutions to their problems. After all, if customers can’t locate you, they won’t be able to buy from your company.
Start by doing extensive keyword research and figuring out how your rivals are positioned. To decide which keywords are worthwhile pursuing, compile a list of all the terms that are pertinent to your business, industry, goods, and services, and calculate their monthly search volume (a keyword research or online ranking tool might be helpful here!).
Continue looking at the search engine results pages for each of those terms to learn more about the users’ intentions or driving forces behind entering them into their search box. For instance, the SERPs for “marketing software” should reveal what the user is most likely looking for. Are the bulk of the results product pages aimed at selling marketing software, or are they educational pages outlining its uses, advantages, and potential uses for businesses?
After reviewing the findings, you can start developing meaningful content for your own website that speaks to the user demands associated with your most pertinent keywords. This will promote your company to the appropriate audience and highlight its position as a thought leader in the industry. Customers, after all, want material that speaks to their requirements, demonstrates to them that you are aware of those needs, and provides the information they want at the precise moment they require it.