Regardless of what sort of product or service you are offering, you are still someone’s customer, so just take a moment and think about it. Take your favourite restaurant, hotel, pharmacy, or hardware store as an example.
There is a good chance that you can find the same products or services elsewhere, maybe even at a more affordable price. The reason why you keep coming back isn’t just the actual product, but the overall experience you receive each time you visit that particular hotel.
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Obviously, the hotel and its staff were able to anticipate your needs and respond accordingly. Anticipating customer needs is the most crucial component when it comes to developing loyalty. If you go on a holiday and stay at that particular place, and it meets all of your expectations and even surpasses them, they why wouldn’t you come back next time? On the other hand, if you have found the experience terrible, you would choose a different hotel.
Even though the overall experience may seem smooth and natural, a lot of work has gone into it. Hotel staff has probably gone beyond their usual scope of work and actually researched their target audience. And there are many ways in which it can be done. If you want your business to anticipate the needs of your target audience, you can collect data by doing surveys, actually talking to people, and by keeping track of online reviews, among other things.
All the information you have gathered should serve as a foundation for your product or service design. Instead of doing what everyone else is doing, which is focus on more features your target audience might not need at all, you will build your product around their actual needs and expectations. That will serve as a core of your product design.
So, basically, it all boils down to focusing on your customers’ actual problem, and providing an effective solution, and providing it in a way that is user-friendly. Those two factors are the foundation of good customer experience. But, that’s just theory. In reality, there are lots of steps and actions you need to take in order to achieve this.
Fortunately, you can rely on this cool infographic, courtesy of Proessaywriting, which breaks down the process of anticipating customer needs into 8 simple steps. If you are interested in providing the best experience for your customers and staying ahead of your competition at the same time, take a moment to check it out.
8 Best Ways to Anticipate Your Customer Needs
Don’t just design a product, solve a problem:
The core of product thinking process is problem-solving which begins by answering the following questions:
– What is the problem the product will help to solve?
– What is the audience you’re going to solve the problem for?
“Try before you buy” still works beautifully:
Would you like to spend your money on a product you’ve never used before?
How about trying a product without any obligation?
Right, that’s why 44 percent of businesses offer a free trial of their products.
– 44% companies offer a free trial
– 18% offer a 14-day free trial
– 70% Active trial users more likely to buy the paid service if they are contacted by a sales rep than those who aren’t.
Communication with customers is a two-way street. Collect feedback from customers using tools like email surveys, online forums, live chat, and phone conversation. The more information you collect, the better you can equip your product to solve a customer’s problem.
Be open to communication:
Customers are the best source of knowledge for businesses. So use every opportunity to communicate with your potential customers and determine what are looking for in your products of services.
Predict demands by studying customers:
Studying the needs and behavior of current customers may help you to predict what they will be looking for in the future. Pay attention to your returning customers, and they will show you the ways how you can improve your product and sell it for the next generation of customers.
Learn from online reviews:
Online reviews are an excellent source of improvement-related information, so read them and respond to every customer professionally. Given that 90 percent of online shoppers read online reviews before visiting a business, this is a must.
– 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
– 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
– 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business
Define patterns of customer journey:
Studying customer journey defines certain patterns characterizing their behavior. For example, if you see a pattern in when your target audience looks for products you sell, be sure to analyze it. Such patterns are key to anticipating customer’s needs.
Hire the right people:
Only quality employees with appropriate experience can understand and anticipate the needs of your target audience. Make it absolutely clear that customer service is a priority in your company, and train them accordingly.
What are the top channels for quality hires?
- 48% Employee referrals
- 46% Third-party companies or online job boards
- 40% Social professional networks
- 34% Third-party recruiter/staffing firm
- 28% Internal hires