Conducting a Customer Needs Analysis – The Right Way

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No matter how innovative a business is or what industry they’re working within, if they can’t satisfy their customers, they’re not going to see much success. Customer experience, especially in our era of online reviews and instant gratification, if vital. Customers aren’t going to wait around for your business to make positive changes, they’ll simply hop to a competitor’s solution.

If you want to keep your customers happy, you need to know what they want. The best way of doing this is by conducting a customer needs analysis on a fairly regular basis. According to a study by Gartner, 81% of marketing teams state that customer satisfaction is their number one goal.

Companies that can provide a fantastic customer experience will see more return customers, increased lifetime values, and a continual flow of positive promotion for their products. In this article, we’ll trace how to conduct a customer needs analysis, documenting exactly why this strategy is so important for success in any field.

What Is a Customer Needs Analysis

A customer needs analysis is a study of the expectations and working realities of your customer base. No matter what industry you work in, this analysis will take into account how your customers are currently feeling, helping your business to better understand where you could progress.

Most of the time, customer needs are broken down into a few core areas:

  • Functionality – Every customer wants a product to solve a specific problem or provide a function. Understanding what problems a customer needs solving will help a business create products or advance their array of features in order to better complete that requisite.

  • Reliability – Some of the biggest brands in the world have been hit with huge-scale lawsuits around programmed obsolescence, where a product becomes less useful over time on purpose. There’s no faster way to annoy customers than programming a lack of reliability into your products. Customers want to know that the solution they’re buying is going to last them for years.

  • Support – Customer support is often an overlooked part of the customer needs package. Most of the time, customers want rapid support without long wait times or robot voice agents. A comprehensive support system will allow your customer service team to get into contact with customers in need and deliver fantastic service.

  • Cost – Of course, your ideal customer typically falls into a certain earning group. Knowing who is in your audience and being able to accommodate for them at different price points is vital. Beyond this, you should be able to qualify the price of your products with your brand’s quality, popularity, and experience.

Across these core areas, businesses can collect a huge quantity of data on their audience. The better a company knows their audience, the more prepared they’ll be to create effective products and market them to that segment.

The Best Method to Conduct a Customer Needs Analysis

In order to conduct an effective customer needs analysis, we need to hit the data. The process of conducting these studies always comes back to the customers, skimming their data from interactions with your site or through personalized surveys.

Typically, there are four steps to conducting a customer needs analysis:

  1. Collect

  2. Analyze

  3. Visualize

Let’s break down each of these steps.

1 – Collect

There are two main ways to collect data from customers. The first is to directly solicit information from your audience. On your website, you can set up a range of quick surveys that users can fill in. Often, offering a small discount or reward will help improve engagement here. Equally, you could send out these surveys via email.

The second, and more effective way, of getting lots of customer information quickly is to turn to your own website. By looking at the internal metrics of your website or data apps that your business uses, you’ll be able to see where users are spending the most time. From tracing the bounce rate of certain pages to documenting which products are the most popular, this will give a huge amount of information.

Within your platforms, you can see which users turn to certain tools, which features are most frequently used, and which are never touched. Collect as much data as you can from your audience across these two methods.

2 – Analyze

Next, time to analyze that data. To help make this easier, we suggest you segment your audience. You can do this based on metrics that make sense to you. It could be based on geographic region, age, gender, or whatever works with your business model.

Move through the core customer needs, tracing exactly what your customers are looking for. Here, you’re aiming to build up a profile of your customer base, splitting it up and using these user segments to answer questions about your platform.

If you have been able to get lots of zero-party data via surveys, then you’ll have a much stronger foundation to start with here.

3 – Visualize

Finally, using BI tools, you want to move your analysis from your data platform into visualization tools. Visualizing data and spotting trends is how you then inform your business going forward.

If there’s a spike in interest for a certain feature, then it’s likely that your audience wants to see more of that. Equally, if you notice that there is a large drop-off in user interaction after your products reach a certain price point, then scaling down the cost of some items will help your business rectify this.

Turning to your customer needs analysis will shed light on your business as a whole. At the end of the day, your business needs those customers to continue being clients in order to turn a profit. Accommodating exactly what they want by using a customer needs analysis will help streamline your entire operation.

Final Thoughts

Conducting a customer needs analysis can create a comprehensive overview of how your business should plan for the future. From signaling which products you need to change, which features your audience likes, and even how much you should be pouring into certain marketing campaigns, knowing your audience inside and out is vital for success.

We recommend that before you make any big changes to your business, you should conduct a customer needs analysis. This solid foundation of information will provide an invaluable starting point. With the power of customer insight, you’ll be able to lead your business to success along a pathway lined with consumer data.

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