Recent studies conducted by marketers and entrepreneurs have shown that good customer service is one of the most important things required for building a brand. In fact, some studies have revealed that the number one factor that impacts how much trust customers have in a brand is the company’s customer service.
Customer service is usually delivered by your frontline employees. They are the ones who directly deal and interact with your customers. Hence, they need to have the necessary skills for interacting with empathy and understanding your customer needs. Therefore, proper training of your frontline staff is the first step towards effectively satisfying your customers' needs. Your employees are responsible for building your brand personality and conveying it to your target customers. They need to be trained in identifying your customer needs and instill loyalty in them.
Different types of businesses will have different customer needs. But there are some common customer needs that almost every business needs to cater to. The types of customer needs your company has will depend on the sector you operate in, the amount of competition you have in the industry, and the type of service or product you offer. To meet customer needs effectively, you need to go through a step-by-step process that must be incorporated into your entire organization.
This post will discuss this process that will help in understanding your customer needs and fulfilling them in a way that boosts your sales and business growth.
The Steps to Take to Meet Customer Needs
Here are the steps to help you identify and meet customer needs.
1. Understand Your Customer Needs
The first step to meet customer needs is to try to understand what exactly they are looking for in your brand. Every one of your customers might have slightly different needs. They might have a different opinion of what ideal customer service is. Your employees play an essential role in identifying and understanding your customer needs. Hence, you need to research what your customer needs are and then train your staff accordingly. Conduct surveys and collect customer feedback to know exactly what your customers expect from your brand.
A key to understanding your customer needs is also to ask your sales staff. Since they deal and interact with your customers daily, they can give valuable input to spot the most common customer needs.
2. Set Realistic Expectations
One of the most common reasons companies fail at meeting their customer needs is that they do not set realistic expectations and standards. To make sure you have realistic expectations to meet customer needs, convey what you understand about them to everyone in the company. When there is consistency in everybody’s behavior from your company towards your customers, you will realize your goals and impress your customers.
3. Pay Attention to the Competitors
Your customer needs are highly influenced by your competitors, their strategies, and their products. How your competitor firms deal with their customers makes an immediate difference in their expectations. The best brand in the industry becomes the benchmark for your customers to compare your product or service. That’s why it is a valuable strategy to always keep an eye on your competitors’ moves. See how they deal with their customers and what kind of marketing offers they come up with. Check out their pricing strategies.
If you see a particular player in the industry making the most sales in a particular season, try to find out the kind of sales funnel they have built. Your marketing funnels should be based on identifying your customer needs. You then have to fulfill some of those needs at each funnel level to encourage the audience to move forward in the funnel towards making a purchase.
4. Be Consistent in Your Strategies
Consistency is vital for meeting customer needs and maintaining their trust in your brand. For example, your sales staff should convey the same return or refund policy to your customers that’s stated on your brand website. If your customers find inconsistencies in your sales process that cause them a loss or even a minor inconvenience, they will not come back to make repeat purchases. Besides that, if your sales representatives are not consistent in their dealings with your customers, they will end up confusing your customers instead of satisfying your customer needs. This will give the message that your brand is not too impressive or that your company is not so organized.
5. Make User Experience Your Priority
To meet customer needs, you need to work on the user experience. People shop from a particular brand or outlet because of the overall shopping experience they get, not just for the post-purchase benefits of the product or service. If you want to make sure you satisfy your customer needs, observe how they behave and react as their point of purchase. Do they seem to be having fun? Do they look too worried? Are they satisfied with the price they are paying? By prioritizing the pre-purchase and post-purchase user experience, you can ensure that you don’t get any unhappy customers. Assist your customers every step of the way. This is the key to getting happy customers.
6. Be Proactive in Building Customer Relationships
You need to keep your existing customers reminded about your brand. There are many ways to do this. One of the most effective ways is to create an email list and send a newsletter with brand updates to the entire list once a month. You can announce any new product launches, latest discount offers, and industry trends in your newsletters. This will keep your customers engaged and make them feel that you care about them. This is the path towards meeting at least some of your customer needs.
Empathy marketing refers to the art or skills of relating to your exact customer needs and preferences in your marketing campaigns and brand messages. Companies that use empathy marketing get better results from their marketing efforts than others. To do effective empathy marketing, you need to be good at identifying your customer needs first before sending out messages they can completely resonate with. The more relevant your marketing taglines and messages feel to your customers, the more they will buy your product or service.
8. Follow Up With Your Customers
A good strategy for identifying your customer needs is to always follow up with them. For instance, if you are running an eCommerce website, you should build an email chain to contact and follow up with all those customers who abandoned their shopping cart on your website just before the checkout. Try to get these customers to speak to you. This will give you a better understanding of your customer needs.
Customer complaints can become a means to meet customer needs if you constructively use them. But to receive complaints from your customers, you need to make it easy for them to provide feedback. Create channels and means for your customers to write product reviews and testimonials.
If you have a website to showcase your business, develop features that make it easy for your customers to speak to you. There are several effective ways of doing this.
Create a contact form on your website that your customers can simply fill up and submit. Encourage them to give any kind of feedback in the form entry, whether positive or negative. Notify them that their comments will be taken seriously. Respond to their queries as fast as possible.
Build a live chat feature on your site. This is the most instant, convenient, and effective way to communicate with customers. Customers don’t want to wait for you to open your email, read their inquiry or complaint, and respond to them in due time. The customers these days want instant responses and immediate replies to their comments, or else they shift their focus towards your competitors. Having a live chat feature on your site will allow you to respond to your customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you build your brand website on Strikingly, you can easily access all the features mentioned above. You can build a contact form on your site. You can collect emails through a subscription form on your landing page. You can even add a live chat on your website if you purchase our Audience Plan or VIP Plan.
The best part of Strikingly to create a website is that you don’t have to deal with any programming or coding work. We take care of all of that at the backend, while you can enjoy creating web pages through our drag-and-drop editor interface. You can easily create a website on our platform to satisfy your customer needs.