Knowing your target audience and knowing your customers can often be a daunting task at first. But by taking time to understand your customers, you gain an edge in how you can serve them while also being able to identify what their needs may be before they tell.

Identifying Customer Needs

How do you find out what your customers need? And how do you find out before they do? The process of looking at these two opportunities starts with examining how your customers function and what their needs are. Conductor.com explained customer needs as “Customer needs are the named and unnamed needs your customer has when they come in contact with your business, your competitors, or when they search for the solutions you provide.” By knowing these different factors, you set yourself up for success before the dialogue with your customers even starts. Some methods to identify what your consumer’s needs are

  1. Conducting Focus Group studies
  2. Listening to your consumers by using social listening techniques
  3. Taking advantage of keyword research to identify trending topics

What is your end goal?

The second step in identifying your customers’ needs is starting with what problem you are trying to solve for them, or what solution you are trying to bring to the table. Maddy Kirsch talked about this method in her article on the Product Plan. She explained the ideas of problem first organization and the faster horse method. Knowing your end goal directly correlates to the problem first origination methods. The problem first method is examining what your organization is seeking to solve or provide to your customers. This self-reflection method starts inside before glancing outwards to the consumer. This ties into knowing what your organization’s end goals are. Who are you trying to serve, and how? Once you have identified these, you can then begin to create solutions. By expediting these solutions in a high-quality manner, you then become the faster horse. This idea was first seen in Henry Ford’s production line. By churning out high-quality solutions faster, competitors weren’t able to match the output. So how do you do this? You start by looking at the problem you seek to solve, and then look at how your solutions fit the needs of your target audience. This is how the process of knowing your customers’ needs before they do starts.

You can quantify your Customers needs

Knowing your customers’ needs can be hard. But there are a few aspects that will allow you to track, measure, and analyze the process. By being able to measure aspects of your customer behavior, you are then capable of creating a data set that directly shows how accurate you are in knowing your customers’ needs before they even know. Converge Hub describes these measurement applications in three strategies. The first is measuring the real-time behavior of the customer. This can be done by creating a customer relationship management tool or CRM. There are thousands of options to choose from online, and many are free to use. The second way to measure customer needs is by categorizing your different customers. By grouping your solutions, and the customers that choose different solutions, you can benchmark future options to which categories will fit into them before even releasing your new options. The last way that is often used in the current digital age is social media. Social media allows organizations to measure analytical trends of their target audience. Using these three techniques, companies can understand their current customer needs as they relate to solutions. Then, using these current measurements, you can mathematically predict what customers’ needs will be in the future.

Sandcastle Web is one of the best all in one options for companies looking into finding out what their customer needs are before they even know them. Sandcastle offers strategy consultingcustom application development, and web design solutions to get you up and running quick! These tools all help to accomplish everything discussed in this article, from web development to predicting future customer needs.