What’s the single most important thing that your business craves? Profit? Growth? Stability? Continuity? Market leadership?
Truth be told, there is no one right answer as each one of them is equally important. Now comes the most interesting aspect – none of them are possible without repeat customers. Undoubtedly, acquiring more and more new customers may appear to you as a sign of growth and rightly so but it’s your existing customers that are your primary source of income, the promoters of your brand, and the foundation for the stability and growth of your business. In other words, taking good care of your existing and potential customers by proactively anticipating their needs and offering excellent customer service is what will keep your business afloat and profitable.
Customer Needs Vs. Customer Expectations
Before we read any further, it is important for you to note that customer needs are the actual triggers that encourage people to buy products or services from you. Generally, there are two types of customer needs that are required to be satisfied.
- Service Needs:If your business is able to provide emphatic, exceptional, proactive, and customer-oriented services, your customers are more likely to buy from you. They are looking for quick, timely, and proactive responses, honesty, transparency, and understanding.
- Value Needs:If you can help you customers see the unique selling proposition and value behind your products and services, they are more likely to buy from you. They are looking for functionality, efficiency, usability, and value for money (adequate price).
On the other hand, customer expectations can be defined as a set of behaviors, actions, priorities, and preferences that customers anticipate when dealing with a business. Today’s tech-savvy and informed customers expect more than just a good service and fair price. They want more: product/service innovation, personalized offers, omnichannel experiences, etc. If you fail to satisfy these expectations, 72 percent of customers are likely to take their business elsewhere without giving a second thought.
What Is In It For You?
Some of the biggest benefits of anticipating customers’ next move are as follows:
- When you know in advance what you’re existing and potential customers want, it becomes easier for you to offer better products and service, minimize the number of customer support tickets, offer proactive solutions, send better marketing emails, and approach your prospects better. As a result, you can earn more revenue as 74 percent of business buyers and 67 percent of consumers are ready to pay more for better customer experiences.
- Almost every market and niche are saturated today. The only way to stand out among the crowd is to appeal to the right audience, stay relevant, and meet or exceed customer expectations. According to industry statistics, 89 percent shoppers stay loyal to brands with whom they share values.
- 76 percent of customers expect businesses to identify, understand, and satisfy their needs. Businesses that focus on customer needs are 60 percent more profitable than businesses that don’t.
- By listening carefully to your customer needs, you can timely make adjustments to your products and services to match or exceed customer expectations. Not surprisingly, 52 percent of global customers believe businesses should take action on customer feedback.
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