We’re all consumers. Whether it’s food, clothes, vehicles, music – there’s a customer in all of us. At some point while on the path to the thing we were buying, our needs were met to whatever degree.
For sellers and marketers, just knowing that your customers exist isn’t enough. The goal should be to not just reach them but to help them. In order to do that effectively, you must understand their needs.
Customer Buying Principles
People purchase things for various reasons, but their eventual buying decisions are often based on two key principles: Function and emotion.
The function principle is manyfold: Does the product or service satisfy a need for them? Does it fit in their budget? How easily accessible and readily available is it? Can they find it close to home or buy it online? (Or both?) Will it take a lot of time to get it? Is it something they need, or something they want?
Emotional factors also play a major part: Is this an impulse buy, or does the product or service resonate with the customer for some personal reason? Does it serve a special purpose? Do they trust your business? Do they understand your brand? Did they feel an affinity with an ad or social media post that was the deciding factor? Is the customer experience you’re providing good enough for those leads to convert?
The emotional response people have to your business greatly influences their buying decisions.
Satisfying All Parties
The real key to providing a great experience is to satisfy both function and emotion. You want to solve the customer’s problem but also give them a great experience. You do this by first understanding what they need.
For marketing teams, today’s digital tools provide valuable insights into what your audience wants. Not only does this information help define your niche, but the more you know about your customers the better you’ll be able to help them.
This filters right down the actual engagement with your customer.
Part of addressing customers’ needs is to provide the best experience possible. Do this by showing the customer you care. Listen to their concerns. Be available for questions before, during and after the sale, and perhaps most important of all: Be honest. Do what you said you’d do.
If you can check those boxes, you’ll be well on your way to satisfying the needs of, and helping, every customer.