How to Meet Customer Demand
What is Customer Demand?
Customer demand drives the success of any business regardless of size. Patterns in the customer demand theory will materialize with continued application and study of consumer driven demand. This lets producers make predictions for future product development base on the reliable nuances of customer behavior. Changes to products and services almost always comes down to consumer demand.
Wants and Needs
Customer purchases are made either because they need a service or they want a product which also fulfills a need. Uncovering why they need a certain product or service is how a business can use customer demand to increase revenue. Through cleverly crafted marketing, the message can reach customers on an emotional level, or through their need, and urge them to consider your product or service to fulfill that need.
Customer demand theory is reliant on the fact that any product can have a decrease in demand over time. Even if an item sells out within hours of debuting that type of demand won't last long term. Being able to recognize when the customer demand theory is affecting a product to the point of decrease will signal the need for new items. This is why Apple will release different versions of iPhone almost yearly and Sony introduces new PlayStation models routinely as well.
Lowering the product price won't change customer demand. If the need has already been met no pricing gimmicks will recreate that feeling. A customer desire is not the same as demand. Demand only fosters through a desire to buy a certain product. Having a lower price tag can make a price more affordable but only if the customer desires to have said product will demand arise.
Quantity vs. Satisfaction
The more a customer purchases the less they are satisfied. Bulk purchases actually drive down demand. So, if the goal is to sell a high amount of a single product, a focus on satisfaction over quantity must be introduced. Switch the marketing structure from bulk buys to solitary products to drive demand and then return to proffering bulk buys.
How to Meet Customer Demand
Knowing and understanding a customer's demand needs is vital to business growth. Customer satisfaction is the gateway to retention of that customer's business.
A customer who's demands have been met will return to offer more of their business. Likewise, they'll let others know of the continued value they perceive in establishment they frequent. Word-of-mouth is massive for long-term success.
The first step in creating a customer experience that keeps them invested is to know how to meet their needs.
What are customer needs?
A customer need is what drives them to purchase a product or service. Their decision to buy a specific item or pay for a service comes from a need they want to fulfill. For instance, if the plumbing isn't working in the customer's home their need would be to have it restored.
Another example of a need is to satiate hunger around lunch time. The decision of where and what to eat is driven by the urge to satisfy this need. Purchasing a new phone or pair of shoes is driven by how filling that need will make the customer feel afterwards.
Customer centricity is not new. Most customer-centric companies understand that filling a customer need will drive the business revenue. However, it takes certain steps to create a truly customer-centric company. Truly understanding customer demands can have some barriers to get over if listening to the customer is a new concept.
Here are a few of the most common customer needs based on products and services.
- Functionality The function of the product should be able to solve a customer's problem or fulfill their desire of obtainment.
- Price A price point is often the deciding factor for customers before they purchase a product.
- Convenience & Reliability The product must be a convenient and reliable solution that meets the customer's need as advertised.
- Compatibility If a product is compatible with other products the customer already owns, they are more like to purchase it.
- Empathy If a customer contacts a service with an issue, they expect to receive empathy and understanding in the process of correcting the problem.
- Fairness Pricing, contract lengths, and no hidden fees are just some of the fair tactics customers demand when buying services from a company.
- Options If a customer has options in the form of product variety, subscription length, or payment options (for example) they'll be more inclined to purchase the service. Freedom of choice goes a long way.
How to Solve for Customer Needs
Fulfilling a customer needs can create customer demand and lead to long-term growth and retention. The way to do this is by anticipating what the customer is looking to achieve from said product or service.
When that is established a plan to create that type of value can be measured. Customer-first values can be implemented by highlighting some of these ideas-
- Consistent Messaging- Customer's like to know what type of value a company offers on a consistent basis. Every part of the organization from producer to distributors should be on the same page in this respect.
- Feedback Loops- Taking customer suggestions to heart and acting on them goes a long way towards improvement. The customer is the one using the product most often. It makes to seriously listen to their feedback and implement it towards improved design or system specifications. This can easily be done through feedback forms throughout a purchase cycle.
- Nurture customer relationships- Building relationships with customers creates a bond that reflects in longevity. Touching base routinely with a customer who has purchased, or simply showed interest in a product or service, will go a long way towards their next purchase with the same company.
- Provide excellent customer service- Problems are a part of doing business. It's in the way the problem is handled that will either retain or lose a customer. They want to be heard and acknowledged regardless if they are at fault or not. Having excellent customer service in place can make a lot of difference when trying to meet a customer's needs.
Factors of Customer Needs: Meeting customer needs is dependent on reaching these factors-
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Conclusion to Customer Demand
- Customer demand is high on the list of contributing factors for price changes.
- Meeting customer demand is what helps businesses thrive in success.
- A level of fairness and empathy is necessary to meet customer needs as it relates to service issues.
- Solving customer demands and needs can include these steps- Offering consistent messaging; nurturing customer relationships; providing great customer service.