Every company is looking for ways to create products that will impress their customers, make them happy and grow their business.
However, instead of searching for solutions everywhere else, your customers are the ONLY important component that will set your company apart from the competition.
At the heart of every business are its customers. Therefore analyzing their needs and expectations via insights from customer feedback is a must.
Happy customers bring in lifetime value; the brand reaches along with other benefits. The first step to satisfying customers and giving them the best experience is understanding and meeting their needs.
You surely don’t want to land up in a situation where you are building a product that your customers aren’t liking. More so, the product isn’t meeting their needs at all. Situations like these can be tricky for your business.
Read on to identify, understand, and eventually meet customer needs and how to do it using Chisel.
Using Chisel’s survey tools and idea portal, your job of collecting customer needs in one place becomes much easier.
What Are Customer Needs?
The motivation (psychological and physical) and the need behind purchasing a product or service by the customer are called the customer needs.
You may know or be unaware of the need of the customer. Ultimately the need determines the solution the customer decides to purchase.
Understanding the concept of ‘jobs to be done’ championed by Professor Clayton Christensen can be an effective way to determine and fulfill your customers’ needs.
There are three main types of customer needs:
Customers look for solutions to help them complete their particular tasks or functions.
On the basis of the functional need, the customer is likely to make a hire.
The way customers want others to perceive them when using a product or service is the social need of the customer.
Even though it may not be the customer’s primary concern when buying a product, it does influence the final decision.
Pro tip: Social needs are the most difficult to identify in a customer for a company.
Both the emotional and social needs may sound similar. However, they are secondary to functional needs.
On the one hand, social needs refer to how the customer wants to be perceived by others; emotional needs mean how the customer wants to feel when using the product.
The other types of customer needs in relation to the products include:
- Reliability and sustainability
- Variety of options
- Information availability
Why Do Product Managers Need To Understand Customer Needs?
What these above examples point at is that customer needs will always keep on changing irrespective of whether you are entering a new market or are an established firm.
The company and its product managers must decide daily to understand, analyze and fulfill the changing customer needs.
Suppose you want the threefold benefit of providing a positive customer experience, defining brand positioning, and building brand loyalty. In that case, you must take time to understand the customer’s needs first.
The three reasons why product managers must understand customer needs are:
Improvement and innovation in your product
As a PM, you are better equipped to discover your product’s gaps when you gain an in-depth understanding of your customer’s needs. Therefore it becomes easy to develop a product with a unique selling point.
Developing better marketing campaigns
Every market has different needs. To develop better marketing campaigns for every market, you must understand customer needs which will help you to tailor messages to address the needs accordingly.
Offering Real-time Support to Your Customers
When you are entirely aware of your customers and their problems and needs, only then will you be able to provide real-time support.
Creating use cases of your product, documenting answers to the FAQ, and compiling a knowledge base becomes a smooth ride when you understand customer needs.
How can Product Managers Identify Customer Needs?
Identifying customer needs can be overwhelming if it’s the first time you are doing it as a product manager.
Don’t worry; we’ll discuss several strategies you can use to identify your customer needs and deliver well with software for product management like Chisel.
User Survey Tools
Whenever you decide on developing a product, you need feedback on what you are building to ensure that it can be the best possible product you can create.
In such times, it is helpful to conduct user research efficiently, and Chisel’s User Research pillar will help you do that.
The User Research Pillar lets people create surveys that they can send out to their contacts, or they can send them to a tailor-made target audience.
You can create a survey from scratch using a template or the existing survey.
Choose any method as per your requirements, and go ahead by editing the questions you wish to send your customers. You can also select the medium you want to send the survey to your customers to understand their needs. There are three options currently available, email, panel, and via link sharing.
Once you have all the customer needs data available, you can analyze it individually or by viewing the data trends.
Fret not if you don’t have a good enough customer base to understand customer needs. Chisel’s audiences tool allows you to customize your customers and get the desired responses. How cool, right? Come, have a look.
Customer feedback is key to innovation in your product.
However, capturing customer ideas isn’t just about knowing them; you must store, sort, and prioritize them.
You can do all of that with Chisel’s Idea Portal!
Idea portal is a great repository for you to capture and store all your customer needs, such as feature requests and ideas, in one place.
With the new ‘publish feature’ tool, product managers can publish a feature they plan to build on the idea portal and share it with the customer.
The customer can give feedback on the feature by giving it a priority and the other description. This will be visible to the product manager in the PM portal.
Customers can also submit their feature ideas in the customer portal, which will be visible to the PM in their portal.
It is essential to ask why to identify the customer’s needs. Not once, twice, or thrice but ask why in the right way and get as much information as possible.
To build the right products, you can’t rely on your customers to explain what they need in your product. You will have to do that job.
Every next question you ask your customer must dive deeper into what you are searching for.
Remember, the process of uncovering the customer needs is a lengthy one.
When in the process of identifying the customer needs, don’t doubt whether or not it’s all worth it. All your hard work will come to fruition once you start building the feature. The development and design team can reference the research and feedback on the feature once the work begins.
Pro tip: As a product manager, always have a relentless curious mindset when identifying customer needs. When you are fascinated with problems, the questions you ask the customers automatically will give you the answers and solutions.
How To Do a Customer Needs Analysis?
Providing customers with value is essential in any business. Product development stages use the customer needs analysis to understand the customer in-depth. This way, you can give the customer the benefits, features, and attributes and fulfill their needs.
Take the following steps to conduct a customer needs analysis:
The first step in conducting the customer needs analysis is by running the surveys. These surveys help the companies know their market position and where they stand when meeting customer needs.
The questions must be about your competitors, your product, customers’ awareness of the product, and their attitudes toward brands in general.
Analyze the Answers
Use the answers from the customer needs analysis survey to get a complete picture of the various reasons why your customers purchase your product and the distinguishing factor between your competitors and your company.
This process of means-end analysis helps you determine the primary reasons why customers chose your product.
You can put these reasons in any of the three categories: Benefits the product will give them, features that the product offers, and value the product fulfills.
The Ultimate Customer Feedback
Using customer feedback, ask your customers about their experience working with your product.
Interview your customers and the service team and understand the improvements you can make to the customer lifecycle.
Ask these Questions to know your customer’s needs
Questions for Pre-launch
- What is the need for this product?
- What is the purpose of this product? How often and when would you be using this product?
- What is your current method of solving the problem that you wish our product to solve?
- What are the challenges you are facing with your current solution to the problem?
- What is the amount of time you are spending on the problem currently, and how much is the ideal time you would like to spend with our product to solve this problem?
- What difference will this product make to your life?
- How much money will you be willing to spend on this product to solve your problem?
Questions for Post-launch
- What feature of this product is the most useful to you?
- What feature of this product is the least useful to you?
- What made you choose this product over others in the market?
- What were your expectations from this product when you got it and was it able to fulfill them?
Revealing the Secret Recipe To Win Across Markets
If you wish to expand your business in every shape and size, the only secret ingredient you need to understand is your customers’ needs.
When you are able to understand the target market audience’s needs right from the start, you get a competitive advantage.
Successful companies in the world have their customers and their needs at the heart of what they do.