It is the era of technology and innovation. Companies new and old, startups to enterprises come with products of different varieties, ones that haven’t been sold or heard of but still, most of them fail to stay in the market and establish themselves.
They lack to explore the answer to one common question “WHAT CUSTOMER’S WANT?”.
Companies want to stay updated and be the first to introduce a flare of innovation and they often are in the hunt for emerging industry trends, successful startups, and glorified products for their inspiration.
However, they all forget their customer who at last is the ones who would be utilizing this innovation or your dream product.
The founder of Apple once said that
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
This though clear and concise as a statement is often neglected.
Often remembered is the mobile brand Nokia that was once the leader in mobile phone sales. Customers went to the extent of referring their phones by ‘Nokia’ rather than calling it a mobile phone. Nokia failed to understand its customers changing needs, expectations and was left behind even being the brand with the highest number of followers.
If you know your customers and understand them clearly, you would know their challenges, expectations, goals, problems, and constraints.
If you know these key attributes and try to address them through a unique solution that adds value and ensures a Return On Investment, your customers would want to buy your offering.
Companies often start on an aggressive note and offer competitive prices, commitment for value-added services, and prompt communication. This often goes relaxed and slow as the engagement progresses.
“In a survey conducted by a leading research agency; Out of 100, 92 customers said that they have stopped working with service providers or product companies after they started experiencing issues in services and support.“
This shows that customers don’t just want the right product or service, they also need to work with a company that can address their immediate needs and supports them continuously.
When your customers use your services, they just don’t compare you with your immediate competitor but they compare you with the best service they have ever received in the past.
Each customer sets his expectations a step ahead after each engagement and that becomes his new standard of best service and experience.
Let’s understand this from a new perspective.
Why do the customers have to search for companies like you and choose you?
a. Because you are an exponential superman!
If everyone was a superhero there wouldn’t be an imagination drawn out for a he-man or spiderman that people would be looking out for. The reason why customers choose you is that they expect your services and solutions would solve one of their pressing challenges.
That is when they need your support and look out for an exponential superman who could bring something new to their table and ask them to select.
b. Because they see you as their Friend and Companion!
Customers do not expect to see people selling them something even if that is the tenth or 20th wonder in the world. They expect you to work as their own team, understand their goals and challenges, and want you to work towards achieving a common aim, TOGETHER.
The customers expect you to be responsive to their concerns and be an intrinsic factor in accomplishing their goals.
c. Because you are an influencer and people could trust you even in their fearsome dreams!
Customers need a push and they expect companies to understand their urgency and persuade them to buy their products and services. This includes a Trust factor which is not an easy task to create. Until you have a deep faith in your product and services, you can never make your customer buy from you.
Albert Einstein once said that ‘if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.
d. Because they expect you to hear and watch their movie, even though it is boring!
Customers have their version of requirements which they often present as a story. This may be long and often boring but they expect the listener to express an eagerness and enthusiasm in hearing them out.
I had heard several customers ask me after a conversation if it makes sense to develop a product they have in mind and would that be successful. They expect you to be a good listener and also to answer all questions they have and at last instill confidence in them which enables them to purchase from you.
e. Because you are a human being and they are not talking to AI chatbot!
As it is said, people sell to people and each customer you work with has a group of people who would contribute to their success. Each of these people has their own challenges and issues and addressing them is idle to making yourself stand stronger.
Your services or product should mean them an opportunity for their professional career. Finally, they should like you to do business with you.
They do not know your company other than you and if they like you and trust you, the deal is half-closed.
f. Because they think you were a gladiator and you are their savior!
Customers have challenges and they understand there are risks to the way they are working and the issues they face. They expect you to act as a consultant and help them mitigate these risks and challenges. Also to help them understand what an idle situation would have been where other companies tried solving similar issues. They would choose you if they feel you are an expert at what you do or offer and you have the acumen to relate it to their issues.
g. Because they expect you to be an Oracle!
I am not talking about the oracle in the movie The Matrix, but customers want you to be clear and concise in what it takes to buy from you. They expect things to be simple and well explanatory with no hidden surprises whatsoever.
The expectation is for the communication to be transparent and sales are effective as possible.
So What do your customers want from you?
a. A Zero-tolerance advocate
Customers can understand that mistakes and errors are part of the business and they could occur once in a while. But they do not want these issues to pop up like a never-ending series with seasons changing every quarter.
They want you to be zero-tolerant on mistakes and understand the pressure and problems they would have to undergo.
b. A Fast and furious communicator
Customers always want you to be prompt and responsive when they approach you with an issue. But they also want you not to have their issues be treated with a ticket, rather from a personalized standpoint where they communicate people to people and solve their concerns.
c. A company with AI inbuilt that isn’t actually an AI
To say it simply, they want to reach you easily and not through a survey asking them to select 10 questions and answer them one at a time and when they qualify, they get to talk to you.
The medium of interaction needs to be direct and easy.
d. Reliable and consistent in business
They want you to be transparent and consistent and expect everyone in your organization to be consistent in communications. They want to rely on you and trust you with what you commit and communicate.
They want you to ‘walk your talk’ and make them believe that they are giving their business in reliable hands.
At the end of the day, the customer wants you to succeed and also wants his business to be successful. A happy customer saves millions of dollars spent yearly on sales and marketing.
He is the best advocate and lead generation machine who would be willing to go to any extent to refer you to others who are willing to pay extra to get a service or product that meets their expectations continuously and consistently.
We have seen customers being the utmost emotional when they leave us after a week and month-long session spending time with our team. It is not the brand they engage with but the people working with that brand they remember and would want to engage again.
We believe that every company can be successful if it understands its customers and works towards making its goals aligned with its customers.
This blog has been sourced from an article written by Abhilash Pillai on LinkedIn.