AdobeStock_117782591-1 Focus: Understanding your customers and their needs

Data, analytics and market trends can certainly give us an overview and basic understanding as to how our customers purchase products and services at a high level. Let’s call it a bird’s eye view of what’s happening below. When trying to understand our customers and their habits, we take into account the economic climate, purchasing behaviour and trends, but understanding who our customers are and why or how they purchase certain products or services adds an interesting layer to customer engagement and retention, one that is a complex yet pivotal dimension in our understanding of not only who we are appealing to as ‘solution” providers but in understanding human behaviour.

This is where research and customer feedback play a vital role in forecasting and further understanding how we operate and adapting our initiatives to accommodate unified consensus, within ket target markets, based on an understanding of behavioural patterns.  As the times and technology change, a fluid and dynamic environment that is constantly evolving, and as we see behavioural trends shift as a result of the needs associate to dynamics in the market place and the world in general, engaging with our customers while capturing qualified information helps us in innovating and moving forward.

For example, fifty years ago, a customer would purchase a service or product based on longevity and loyalty. A certain demographic would support the same grocer for years on end because that was what they had always done. In today’s era, customer satisfaction is based on not only external factors such as price, quality and perception, but on how a service or product will fit into their personal ethos e.g. an intrinsic set of standards that determine, or rather, create the primary basis for what informs our decision making process.

Sometimes, more often than not, the subliminal and subconscious way in which a customer interacts with a company or brand is shaped by how this brand or company complements our personal narrative and how we associate this within our personal brand.

That is where in-depth research, through customer feedback, can be so important in helping us shape our business model and the future for revenue. It is all good and well to sell a product or service we feel will benefit the greater population, but do our customers share the same sentiment? Will a graph and spreadsheet after spreadsheet help us? Only a customer can tell.