Determining Specific Customer Requirements

Instructor: Sean Kennedy

Sean has 8 years experience as a supervisor and has an MBA with a concentration in marketing.

Knowing customer requirements is important to the success of a company. Customer requirements can be determined through research, customer feedback, and identifying how customers want to purchase products.

Customer Wants and Needs

Imagine you have a product you think is fantastic, but it is not selling the way you expected it to. You wonder how you can figure out what customers want out of this product, and how their experience can be made better. The best way to do this, is to go directly to the customers and tailor the product or service to meet their wants and needs. Let's look at different ways to accomplish this.

Research

The easiest way to determine what customers are looking for is to research. Doing research to find out the target market allows the company to gain a better understanding of its customer base. It is vital to know what the customers want from the products that are being sold. Determining who the customer is by age or gender, can help the company target the perfect group. The company must market its product to the appropriate consumer base in order to achieve good sales results.

Imagine you are selling a new flat iron, with advanced features, for straightening hair. You will want to do market research to determine exactly who your client is. Most likely, you will want to target females, but further research will help you decide which age range will also be best. For example, the advanced features may only be appealing to a younger age range.

Customer Feedback

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Gaining customer feedback allows the company to get insight on how effective their product is. Customer feedback can be done through online polls, email surveys, or social media. Emailing customers asking for feedback, will allow the company to get information from a large number of people. Online polls are another way for the company to gain information about customers' specific requirements. The company can then ask questions tailored to learn specific information from their customers. Social media also allows the company to gain specific feedback from customers. Companies can ask questions to customers, have them rate their products, and respond to customer concerns. Asking customers for feedback allows the company to gain an unbiased view of the company.

Another option, is to set up a focus group where customers can try the product and give feedback. While trying it, customers can then analyze its strengths and weaknesses, which is an important step when introducing a new product. While a product is in development, the company has the ability to change it as necessary based on the feedback they receive. Doing this before the product is fully manufactured will help save time and money for the company. This step is also helpful when a product is not selling well, because the company can then tweak it to help it sell better, or to eliminate the product completely if need be.

Customer feedback should be taken seriously. A successful company will look at both the positive and negative feedback. If there is a lot of negative feedback, the company can determine what they need to change to make the product better and satisfy their customers.

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