Monday, 12 August 2019 16:08

Understanding Your Customers’ Wants and Needs

How well do you know your customers? Are you operating on firsthand (and recent) data, or relying upon information collected in past months or years? If your knowledge of customers’ wants and needs is insufficient, chances are your offerings may fall short as well.

For obvious reasons—in addition to boosting sales and/or acquiring new customers—it’s essential that you understand what problems your target audience faces, how your product or service represents the best solution, and how to translate this knowledge into actions you can put into practice right away.  DSC5421

Here at Baillie Lumber, we make the effort to truly know and understand our customers. Here are some guidelines we think are worth keeping in mind: 

Highlight your specialized products 

Regardless of industry, customers—particularly in the B2B realm—don’t want cookie-cutter solutions to their problems. As Entrepreneur notes, such buyers “aren’t interested in working with organizations that claim to do everything for everyone.” A more effective approach focuses “on creating the more intimate messaging that derives—often organically—from those buyers’ communities.” 

For us, that could be informing customers on our ripping program or even our proprietary grades which can help them maximize their yield!  

Boost your listening efforts 

These days, customers are almost exclusively online and “living” on social media. If you don’t know already, find out what platforms your customers follow and establish your own presence there. By “being aware and listening in, you’ll learn a lot about how your company is faring,” as well as more about customers’ needs and wants. (You’ll find out more about what buyers think of your competitors, as well.) 

Study web analytics 

Online tools such as Google Analytics enable businesses to track some of the ways in which potential buyers learn about your business. Since “every visitor to your website leaves a digital footprint, you can check your site’s referral data which shows you where your traffic is coming from” and what search terms a visitor used to find you. These terms are, in themselves, useful guideposts to understanding what drives an existing or prospective customer—the kinds of issues and pain points that make them actively seek out solutions. 

Get input from your customer-facing team members 

Whether it’s the customer support team or your sales personnel, there are individuals within your organization who regularly interact with customers. These employees have a potential wealth of information to share regarding:

·         The concerns buyers grapple with
·         What they want to know about your business
·         What’s most important to them
·         How your business can fit in with their long-range goals 

Invite these trusted team members to share their experiences with you. It’s likely you’ll uncover new insights about what they want and need, and how to refine your marketing message to let them know you’re there to help. 

Emphasize a “customer-first” agenda 

At your next companywide meeting, set aside time to discuss specific customer needs. Share your thoughts on how to meet those needs and solicit feedback from everyone in attendance. This sends a clear message to employees that you’re always thinking about what your customers want, and that this should be at the top of their priority list, too. 

Even the most successful companies can’t afford to rest on their laurels. The need to understand your customers’ wants and needs is a never-ending process. 

What methods have you found effective in understanding your customers? We would love to hear them!

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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