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Customer Needs: Types & Differentiation by Customer Group

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  • 0:03 Identify Your Customer
  • 0:48 Know Your Customer
  • 3:02 Know Your Product
  • 4:58 Customer Characteristics
  • 6:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Allison Tanner
This lesson covers knowing your customers and matching their needs. You'll learn why it is important to know your customer, what they are looking for, and how customers vary.

Identifying Your Customer

Imagine that you spent hours cooking the perfect chocolate chip cookies for a work party. You made sure to measure all the ingredients and even bought the expensive black walnuts to add some crunch to the chewiness. You pack up the cookies, drive to the party, and find out that everyone you work with is allergic to nuts!

This represents a concept called knowing your customer. Because not all customers are the same, you want to be able to identify customers on some basic factors in order to give them the best experience, so you need to take some time to get to know them, their needs, their wants, and how the product you are selling is a match for them. Getting to know your customer, who they are, and how they are different, will help you to meet their needs.

Know Your Customer

The first thing you want to do in identifying customer needs is to start by getting to know who your customer is. For our lesson, lets say the customer is Tom, and our product is televisions. Now that you know his name, you can keep working to know him and his needs by asking follow up questions, such as:

  • Are you purchasing this for yourself?
  • What do you like most about your television?
  • How much are you willing to spend today?

This may seem silly. Doesn't everyone like to watch TV and have it be clear? Well, the answer isn't that simple. Tom might say that size is the most important factor, and clarity is not that important. In this case, you might know just what to show him. You know of a large TV, with good clarity, and you know that he would be more than happy with this purchase. Even better, you can see the big bonus you will get for making such a great sale! Since you now know Tom and what he is looking for, you can make a suggestion and get ready to close the sale, confident that you are meeting his needs.

Another part of meeting Tom's needs is to make sure he feels good about the purchase. You have to know your product and everything about the TV that makes it a great match for what Tom is looking for. This means that you will want to spend time making Tom feel like the product he purchased is something he is going to be happy with and that you care about him as a person, not just a sale. You might tell Tom about the TV's special features, such as the ability to have a WiFi connection for live streaming. You also want Tom to know what the product offers him. This will help him to be confident in the purchase. You can take a few simple steps to achieve this:

  1. Let Tom know this is not just a sale; you truly want to meet his needs.
  2. Tell him how this product meets his needs and why it is the best product.
  3. Let him know what product protections are in place for him.
  4. Let him know what the return policy is.

You know your customer, Tom, and how you can best meet his needs. Another important part of great customer service is knowing your product and its importance to your customers, such as Tom.

Know Your Product

We just discussed knowing the needs of your customer. You also want to know why the purchase is important. Is this purchase something your customer wants, or is it something they really need? This concept is knowing your product and how important the product is to your customers.

Tom is just buying a TV, but what if Tom and his pregnant wife are buying a new house for their family to grow into? The purchase of a new home certainly means more to Tom than the purchase of a TV. The more important the purchase, the more valuable the tools of getting to know Tom will be.

Knowing how important this purchase is to Tom, you, as the real-estate agent, might go above and beyond - you ask more than how many bedrooms and bathrooms are wanted - you ask to know the favorite room in the house. Do Tom and his wife like to have multiple floors, or do they want it all on one floor?

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