What do customers want? That is the question every business owner, marketer, and salesperson asks.
While, of course, individual needs differ, there are some common things that every customer wants from a business.
Let’s take a look.
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What Do Customers Want? 9 Things to Do Now
- Excellent Customer Service
- Reasonable Prices
- Loyalty Programs
- Saving Time
- Added Value
1. Excellent Customer Service
In the role of a customer, using a product or service, have you ever been in a situation where you simply do not know how to proceed. You just got stuck, maybe a bit frustrated. What do you do, when there’s nothing else to do? Contact customer service, surely.
It’s not a big deal, you might think to yourself. But once you reach out for help, you are nothing but frustrated. That is why having a top-notch customer service is absolutely essential.
Do not underestimate its importance. Focus on educating your support representatives. You never know if great customer service will lead to a sale or not. If the experience is bad, though, you most certainly will not, and there is a high chance you will lose the customer for good.
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2. Reasonable Prices
One of the first things that customers want from a business is affordability. After all, a lot of people are on tight budgets, especially with the recent economic downturn.
You might be offering the best product on the market, however, if the price is one of the main considerations when it comes to a final decision, then what’s the smart thing to do? Always try to find a fine balance of pricing-quality to make sure you have competitive advantage.
Of course, pricing should correspond to the project and its requirements – if it’s too cheap, you definitely cannot insist on quality. It’s like buying a car for $500, and expecting it not to need repairs.
3. Loyalty Programs
Customers adore being rewarded for their loyalty. Create a loyalty program, make it easy, and fun to participate in it, and you’ve nailed it!
What does a great loyalty program look like, you ask? Amazon, for example, has a renowned customer loyalty program, called Prime, where members get access to an unlimited free two-day shipping.
Another good example is Sephora’s Beauty Insider Program, where customers earn rewards for every purchase they make. In fact, 80% of their annual sales actually come from loyal customers.
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Another useful example is regarding eCommerce stores, where 80% of customers admit they are more willing to purchase from a brand that provides personalized shopping suggestions.
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Good storytelling can increase sales volumes. It’s something that both businesses and customers want, so just do it, c’mon. It’s human nature to be lured in by a good story, and it’s far more interesting and inspiring to read a narrative about a product, instead of a plain description.
Storytelling also works extremely well when persuading your customers. It’s logical when you think about it. After all, since childhood we have often been fascinated by fairy tales, because it’s easier to relate to a story, rather than a rule.
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6. Saving Time
In today’s hurried world, if there’s one thing that customers want more than saving money, it’s to save time. Research by Stanford reveals that “our relationship with time is much more personal than our relationship with money”.
That’s why advertisements rarely focus on the money users can save. Alternatively, they typically target the feeling of time, e.g., “having a great time”, “saves you time”, and so on.
7. Added Value
We talked about pricing earlier. The truth is, however, that it’s not only about being affordable. You must also provide value for money, especially when you are competing with your rivals.
You need to influence the customer and convince them that buying from you is the right choice. Adding value to your business is a continuous process, and includes several aspects.
One of the most essential ones, though, is always quality. Nothing can beat a high-quality product, in terms of value. Even if it’s more expensive than similar, but often lesser quality, products.
A lot of times customers want something that can solve their problems. Your job as a business is to constantly strive for innovations, and try to provide customers with an answer to their needs.
In a way, you have to know what your customers want before they do. Naturally, that’s not an easy task, but luckily there are professionals like business analyst, marketing specialists, and so on, that can help you with that.
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Customers want to know that they can rely on your product or service every time they need to use it. Needless to say, you should, at all times, make sure that what you offer works as advertised.
When a customer is paying to use your product/service, and something is not working as it should, that creates a very bad user experience.
What’s more, that same unhappy customer will most likely share their opinion online by writing a bad review, and since reviews influence customer buying decisions, it could turn out to be detrimental for your entire business.
7 Basic Needs of Customers
Customer experience expert Ben Motteram outlined the 7 basic needs of customers when they interacted with a business.
Customer service representatives are quite often the first point of contact
Let’s review them together.
- Friendliness. This is a basic human need, i.e., to be welcomed with politeness and courtesy. It’s no coincidence that one of the top traits of a good customer service agent is friendliness.
- Empathy. We are all human, so act like one. Showing humanity in customer interactions affects users positively, especially in an age of digitalization and AI.
- Fairness. Users want to feel that they’re being treated fairly. This includes receiving reasonable answers in a timely manner, and adequate attention for whatever questions or concerns they have.
- Control. People don’t often like it when they don’t have control over a situation. This is especially true when it comes to using your services, and giving you their money. Listen to user feedback, and try to make it look like they have a saying in what’s going on in your business.
- Alternatives. Users like to have alternatives. You should always try to be as flexible as possible, and provide multiple channels of communication to your clients.
- Information. Information is one of the most important and sensitive matters, when it comes to the needs of customers. It’s vital that they receive the right amount of information about your product/service. Too little is never a good idea, however too much information can be distracting as well.
- Time. Time is of the essence. Value your customers’ time just as much as you value your own time. One of the main components of good customer service, according to two thirds of customers, is the ability to quickly solve their issues.
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What do customers want? That’s always a hard question to answer, but one that businesses should always have in mind.
After all, without customers, there is no business.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what your customers need and want.
Comment below if you know of any other things that customers may want?