4 Ways to Accurately Anticipate Customer Needs


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You’ve given your customer a reason to come to your company in the first place and succeeded in solving one of your customer’s needs. Congratulations on a job well done. What’s next?

If you’re like nearly every other company on the planet, your business needs more than one solid product or service. Delivering another winner that will alleviate another customer problem is key to the future of the company. But how do you move forward with your ideas or current product development?
Here are four suggestions you can move forward towards additional success by anticipating your customer’s additional needs.

Give your customers a big, easy platform from which to share their ideas.

Hold a two-way conversation in multiple places and engage the customer in ways you can further alleviate their pain points or solve problems. 

You must create open, inviting channels for them to use and effective ways to capture what they say and do. This can take the form of direct customer feedback via online forums or phone conversations.
Identifying additional potential problems or areas where customers are not fully satisfied can drive innovation. Finding the right projects you can execute precisely and quickly will allow you to sink your teeth into the bigger, more time-consuming projects later.

Look for the next problem to solve, not which product to sell.

Remember that the problem you solve is always the most important thing. It’s more important than the product or service that you sell.

Take Carlson Wagonlit Travel, for example. They were forced to adapt their model multiple times over the span of ten years in order to stay in business. The Internet altered the travel management industry but CWT led the way with anticipating changes instead of trying to keep up with the trendsetters. Case in point: instead of creating more things to sell in a crowded space, CWT noticed a need to help online business traveler book their own travel and created a platform for them to do so.

Be patient enough to let customers leverage the investment they made in the current solution.

You’ve found success in a model that satisfies your customers’ needs. Now is not the time to push them away by pressing for further sales. Let your customers enjoy their new-found peace of mind. If they find the need to try the one solution more than once, allow them to savor it like a meal at their favorite restaurant.

Sometimes it’s necessary for your customer to try before they buy something new. Focus on allowing your customer’s point of view trumps your desire to dazzle them with new products immediately.  Helping customers leverage the investment they’ve already made is a way to build trust and deepen a relationship.  Make sure the customer recognizes your building on mutual, shared interests before trying to sell them the next thing.  This gives you stronger relationship and additional revenue.

Pay attention and mine the future demand from the next needs of your current customers. aveus-1

You think you’ve reached the pinnacle of customer success and are ready to set sail for a new host of customers, who are just waiting to try your new product.

It’s vital to pause at this point. Stop. Consider your current customers as part of your future initiatives. Don’t overhaul your client base. They’ve been your bread and butter to date. Deny the urge to leave them behind for the shiny new customers preparing to knock down your door.

Alienating current customers could have a negative, if not devastating, effect on new business. Find a way to include them in the new equation. You may find they provide even more positive impetus to that new product than those new customers waiting at your door.


In the end you’re only as good as your customers say you are. Avoid the easy way out and devote the necessary time and resources to locate & alleviate their major pain points. Don’t buy into a one fix for all mentality. Strive to deliver consistent wins for your customer’s needs and they’ll keep coming back for more. 

Download your FREE Copy of: 6 Steps That Define The Customer Experience For All Organizations now!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Linda Ireland
Linda Ireland is co-owner and partner of Aveus LLC, a global strategy and operational change firm that helps leaders find money in the business performance chain while improving customer experiences. As author of Domino: How to Use Customer Experience to Tip Everything in Your Business toward Better Financial Performance, Linda built on work done at Aveus and aims to deliver real-life, actionable, how-to help for leaders of any organization.


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