How Can Businesses Better Anticipate Customer Needs?


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There’s more competition than ever with businesses working both brick-and-mortar stores and Internet companies. Customers have countless choices for nearly any product so businesses must put their best foot forward. Anticipating a customer’s needs is critical in any industry. Learn how to put your customer first so that they remain loyal in the long run.

Listen to Their Requests

A courtesy that’s often overlooked in today’s fast-paced world is simply listening. Customers might ask for a specific product or service. Explain what you can do as the service provider along with associated perks. You might supply rental tables and chairs for parties, but also suggest tablecloths, utensils and other items. From that point, you and the customer have a rapport that involves a give-and-take conversation. Listen to their requests at that point so that the perfect service or product can be started for the customer. Businesses who force unwanted items onto a customer will see that person disappear out the door.

Observe and Respond to Shopping Patterns

If you run a storefront, be aware of shopping patterns within the building. Aisle widths, product locations and other subtle details guide your customers to certain areas. Add interesting products to the aisles’ endcaps so that they’re drawn to that location. Brightly colored products along a nearby shelf will continue to pull the customer through the store. Avoid dead ends and tight corridors that only deter people away from the area. You can anticipate your customers’ needs by making the store a welcoming area with strategic products placed throughout the space.

Implement Management Software

This platform holds all of your customers’ data. Everyone knows, IT management software is a great tool to anticipate customer needs. Analyze the information for sales trends and possible improvements. You might find that certain products sell well near month end when a price cut occurs. Discounting the item during the rest of the month may bring in more customers. You’ll also anticipate needs by watching seasonal trends. Weddings ramp up in volume during the spring and summer so cake-making facilities should purchase more supplies to keep up with demand.

Read Online Reviews

One of the best insights into customer behavior is today’s online reviews. These websites require a login account so that visitors can return to the site for multiple reviews. Look up your business on a regular basis in order to see every review. Respond to any negative comments with professional solutions. A customer may be unhappy with a service so you can help them with a future appointment. By learning from your mistakes, you can anticipate customer needs in the future. It’s possible to lose a customer at some point, but the business world will always be an evolving place. Pay attention to reviews to alter your business practices when necessary.

Surround Yourself with Quality Employees

It’s impossible for one person to anticipate every customer need. As your business grows, surround yourself with employees who put the customer first. Everyone will have a different perspective of the world, which only benefits each unique customer. Certain salespeople might work well with some customers compared to others. Make customer service a priority by training your employees with the latest sales skills. Customer needs can be anticipated and served with utmost integrity by hiring the right employees to guide their decisions.

Everyone makes mistakes, and customers understand that businesses are only human at the basic, service level. If an issue occurs, be honest with the customer about the fault. Don’t excuse the issue, but simply apologize for the error. Discount a service, or offer an alternative to the customer. In the end, the customer will forgive the mistake when a proper apology is part of the scenario.


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