It would seem obvious that to attract and keep customers, we should provide them what they want, at least to the extent practical.
Of course, if everyone did this well there’d be no need for people like me to write about it, would there?
Since I find myself sitting here writing about it, I have to ask, why don’t companies do a better job giving their customers what they really want?
A big reason is because too many people never see things from their customer’s perspective. They constantly look at things from their point of view.
It’s pretty hard to understand what your customers want if you never even try to see their point of view.
So this begs the question, how do we find out what our customers really want?
It’s not really that hard.
The first step is to stop thinking about what you want. Remember, the customer DOES NOT CARE WHAT YOU WANT. They have come to you to get what they want.
Next, understand that what they want falls into two different categories.
The first category of what they want is what I call “People Wants”. If you ask a lot of people how they want to be treated as customers, you’ll get a list of words and phrases that center on people skills
Treat me with respect.
Don’t waste my time.
Be friendly and polite
Act like you care.
Make me feel important.
The bottom line is, we want to be treated well.
Since we’re all people, it shouldn’t be hard for any of us to put ourselves in our customer’s shoes in this regard. Sure we all think a little different, but at the end of the day, it’s easy to understand that we all prefer to be treated well.
The second category of wants is what I call “Solution Wants”.
These are the specific things our customers want to accomplish with our product or service. The key to getting this right is to focus on what outcome the customer wants.
Too many people in too many companies think the customer knows exactly what they want. Maybe it’s because we’ve become a self-service society. Certainly customers have become more educated and more informed.
But that does not mean they’re experts about our products and services. In fact, sometimes they know just enough to be dangerous. Yet they think their level of knowledge is enough to make the best decision.
So, to really give our customers what they want, we need to help them understand what they want to accomplish by doing business with us. At the end of the day, how do they want things to look? What outcome are they trying to accomplish?
If we can help them visualize their desire, then we can help them get it.
They know where they want to go. We need to help them figure that out and then show them the best way to get there.