Customer Wants Are the Key to Your Strategy

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You either think about your product and how to make the customer want it or what the customer wants and how your product can change to meet their wants. The first is too often how businesses think. The second is more challenging but much better.

Why? It takes work to think about your product from the customer's view. But it's much easier to think about your product from how you see it. And it is often difficult to determine what the customer wants.

Customer Wants Is the Key to Your Strategy

Customer Wants or Customer Manipulation?

Even if you aren't dealing with the end consumer of a product, you still have a product (your work) and a customer (whoever receives your work). So, this applies to anyone with a JOB!

When you have a "Product-OUT mentality," you rely on manipulation or exhortation to get a "customer" to buy your product. That gives selling a bad name because people do not want to be "sold" something - they want to buy something they want or need.

So, it's time to change your thinking and determine what your customer wants. And that means it is best to talk to them and ask them questions. How about asking how they define a good product or a good job? Then, after that discussion, you can merge your expertise with their "customer wants" to create a product that matches their need with what you offer. 

If you aren't offering what they want, change your product or develop one that will. Also, everybody is not your customer, so focus on the people who need your product. Neither individuals nor businesses benefit from thinking everyone is a potential customer or client. It's just not true!

Once you know what they want, you can develop a strategy to meet that need to provide the best chance for customer satisfaction.

Find Out What They Want

Start the process of focusing on what they want. Talk to your "customers" about what they need and want. And don't stop there; ask what they don't need or don't want. And that brings us to the two great questions to ask your customers...

  • What do you need that you aren't getting?
  • What are you getting that you don't need?

Think about it. What if someone asked you those questions? Would you likely have more positive thoughts about them? Most likely, that would be true even if they had been treating you poorly in the past.

Of course, a significant benefit of those two questions is you are taking the initiative to meet their needs. Instead of hoping you meet their needs, you can ask for feedback and data for further improvement.

Finally, do not forget about using the Kano Model.

Customers Are the Key to Your Strategy

Strategy is built on 11 questions, but the first five are the most important.

  1. What do we offer?
  2. Who are our customers?
  3. What do they want?
  4. What do we want?
  5. Is there a match?

The most important of those five questions is - you guessed it - "What do they want?"

And, most often what they want is different from the features of your product. What is it then? It is about their emotions and the perceived or actual benefits they get from your product. For example, purchasing a luxury product can be about the quality of the product, but more often, it is about the customer just owning the product and how it makes them feel.

So, for your customer, please focus on the benefits you provide them and how it impacts their thinking and feelings about you and your product.

But, most importantly, you should TALK to your customer and start with the two key questions.


5 key strategy questions, customer satisfaction, customer wants, Kano Model, strategy

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