Do you understand your customer?

In my  many years of doing business I have come to the conclusion that many companies do not understand their customers’ needs  and one might ask themselves how that is possible; how can you be in business and not understand what drives your customers needs?  It is absolutely essential that a company is able to understand and identify what their customer’s’ needs are.  I have found that one of the biggest issues is that with the technology that is available today that the customer has dramatically changed, the problem is the mentality of many companies has not.

 

Take this article for example;   The six basic needs of customers;  while the author “Rosa Say” is on the mark in much of the article and I was thinking here is someone that understands, she lost me at the end when she stated, “Customers need to be educated and informed about our products and services, and they don’t want us leaving anything out! They don’t want to waste precious time doing homework on their own – they look to us to be their walking, talking, information central”.  While I agree we need to be there to give the information that the customer wants, stating the customer doesn’t want to do research on their own is completely false.  This statement definitely applies to the pre-Internet customer, but today’s customers are much more knowledgeable than they have ever been in the past; thanks to search engines and Social Media customers come armed with information, they know what they want before they ever get to you.   Robert H.  Bloom the author of the book “The New Experts”  states “Buyers, not sellers, are now in control of almost all financial transactions. As a result, buyers no longer care where or from whom they buy!” and I completely agree with this statement.

 

As a business you need to understand that your customers no longer need you for information, they are empowered with information that is readily available at the click of a mouse, so you too need to be empowered with this same information and you need to offer them choices based on the information that they are armed with.  Unlike the past where you controlled the conversation, today’s businesses need to be a part of the conversation.