Understanding your customer wants and needs is, or should be, the driving force behind all your marketing decisions. In fact, you should obsess over exactly what it is – whether it be a product or service – that will satisfy people’s needs and turn them into happy, paying customers. This is the crux for success in any business…
In order to gain a better understanding of your customer wants and needs, try the following:
Ask What Your Customer Wants
This may sound like a “no brainer”, but the fastest way to learn what your customer wants is to simply ask them. You may need to ask them repeatedly and in various ways, such as quizzes, surveys or just come out and ask them using a form, since customers don’t always know what they want.
Asking your customers what they want is an ongoing activity that you should never cease doing. Reason why is because their needs change over time as they and their business grow.
When using something like an initial contact form, for instance, a simple sentence such as “What is your #1 obstacle you are facing right now?” works just fine.
Once you have the answer to this question use it in your follow-up emails, newsletters, etc.
For example, “Here are a few pointers to help you focus on the task at hand.” – With “focus on the task at hand” being the response to what your customer wants.
Write a Questionnaire
A well-written questionnaire forces your customers to think deeper about what it is they really most want and need. Plus, they do the initial writing research work for you!
The answers in the questionnaire make the writing process much easier, faster.
The answers they provide in the questionnaire help to ensure that you’re quoting the correct price for the project as well.
Survey Money is a great tool for creating surveys and questionnaires.
Offer Free Revisions
Usually your initial draft of the project won’t be exactly what your customer wants. This is particularly true if you’re a writer working with new customers, so don’t take offense.
Offering free revisions helps you and your new customer to relax. Plus, it helps you get to know each other better.
Be sure to add the time involved for revisions as part of your fee. This helps to offset any lost time and money.
You may want to limit revisions to two or three at the most. Setting a limit helps keep your customer “on their toes” and from getting lazy or taking advantage of your time.
Ask for Feedback
Offering free revisions is one thing, asking for feedback is an entirely different ball game!
One way to ask is to simply include a feedback form along with the project when it is delivered to your customers. You could ask something as simple as the following:
- “What did you like most about your experience with us?”
- “Was the work completed to your satisfaction?” (If ‘No’, please explain below)
- “How could we have made your experience better?”
Or you could say something like…
- “We appreciate your feedback. It helps us create the best product possible.”
Asking for feedback is like opening the door for someone – it makes customers feel welcome, plus it increases your understanding of your customer wants and needs.
Here’s a free customer satisfaction survey template that you could use as a pattern for your own.
Set a Date and Time to Discuss the Project
Lastly, always set a date and time to discuss the project with your customers.
Some people communicate better by phone and some in person. However, in today’s world email or Skype works well for many.
You may prefer using email. However, if your customer is more comfortable using the phone or webcam, then be sure to cater to their preference.
Note: If you do use Skype or other webcam, be sure that you, your desk, and the backdrop behind you look professional – clean and organized.
If you look unkempt or have questionable posters hanging on the wall behind you, or your desk looks like a bomb went off, then your image as a professional will take a hit.
Taking the time to get to know and understand your customer wants and needs will save you time, effort and money.
It will also make for more satisfied and paying customers.
They’ll tell others about you.
They’ll become loyal customers, too.
Your bank account will grow larger and larger!
Question: What is the one thing that you always do to ensure your customer wants and needs are met?
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