Understanding What the Customer Wants
Often what a customer says and what the customer really means are two different things. The same thing happens when we are talking about customer wants. It is important to listen carefully to customers to understand how their wants and needs relate to the products and services you have to offer.
For example, when you go to the cell phone store to purchase a new phone, the salesperson could:
- Assume you want a new smart phone with all the features available.
- Ask you what you would like to do with your phone so he or she can help you decide on the right one for you.
If that salesperson is practicing good customer service skills, he or she not only will ask, but will also listen to your response and show you phones that will meet your needs.
Some questions to ask yourself when trying to determine what a customer wants include:
What are a minimum of three things the customer has stated he or she needs? One of these things should not be price requirements. Some examples of needs might be convenience, ease of use, portability, timeliness, perishability, or attractiveness.
What was said to convince you of these needs? Listen to the customer; don't just recite the benefits of your product or service. Knowing the attributes of the product or service is not enough; you also need to know how the needs of the customer relate to the product or service.
When closing the sale or deal, how did the customer respond? In closing a sale or deal, it is always a good idea to ask if there is anything more you can do for your customer. Listen to the response; you may discover that the customer has another need that you can accommodate.