Friday, 27 June 2008

Wants vs Needs in Scotland - How To Find Out What Customers Want

The Learning And Teaching Scotland Management Toolkit says on its page on Wants and Needs... There is a commonly held misconception that providing customers with what they need is the key to a successful product or service

It goes on to cite my Customer Is King book

"Tapping the customer psyche
Organisations will need to understand the real motivations of customers so they can provide them with what they desire. Do customers want to look good? Do they want good cheap food? Do they want to be safe? Do they want to be entertained? Do they want a fast and efficient service?

By understanding customer motivations, wants and desires, products and services can be promoted in a way that stimulates these emotions and demonstrates fulfilment of them. The satisfaction and the benefits that can be gained from the product or service need to be sold rather than just the purpose it serves. For example, Calvin Klein and GAP don’t sell clothes, they sell an image - look good, be popular and attractive. Likewise, Kellogg’s Special K sells a perfect body, not merely a cereal.

Wants vs Needs
The following model can be used to help identify customer needs and wants. Depending on where you place the emphasis of each word in the sentence ‘get under each customer’s skin’, the meaning takes on a different perspective:

- ‘Get under each customer’s skin’. Organisations need to be the catalyst, and so initiate questions using whatever medium is the most appropriate.
- ‘Get under each customer’s skin’. Organisations need to imagine what it feels like to be a customer. Key players should try to experience being one of their customers.
- ‘Get under each customer’s skin’. Organisations should consider: To what degree do they see all customers as the same with the same basic requirements? Does it matter if they deliver a standard or bespoke service? What benefits would come from offering a customised product or service?
- ‘Get under each customer’s skin’. Organisations should consider existing, prospective and past customers as potential sources for creating additional products and services.
- ‘Get under each customer’s skin’. Organisations should look under the surface to identify what their customers might want and what they really think and feel."

(This is repeated in its piece
How to Find Out What Customers Want)

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