A customer needs assessment is a detailed look at the needs and expectations of your customers.
If you don’t know what is most important to your customers, it is difficult to fulfill their needs and meet their expectations. It is easy to assume you know what your customers want and what is important to them.
But even if you are in regular contact with your customers, their true needs and wants are not always on the surface.
The goal of a customer needs assessment is to understand what customers want and what their true needs are, which are sometimes different than their stated needs. The method of discovery, personal interviews, is limited because of the time and costs of conducting the interviews. Thus, a second phase is necessary when you have a larger customer base. In this case, the second phase involves conducting a broad-based assessment of your customer base to validate the results obtained in the first phase, the personal interviews.
Understanding customer needs before developing solutions
Steve Jobs said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You cannot start with the technology and try to figure out where you are going to sell it.” Understanding customer needs before developing solutions is the hallmark of success.
With a complete set of desired outcomes in hand, a company is able to evaluate a proposed solution to determine just how much better it will get the job done. Using this customer needs approach, companies can quantify the potential value of a proposed solution, thus making it possible to predict in advance which ideas will succeed in the marketplace.
Your customers want to be heard. Don’t just survey your customers, connect with them and respond to their needs.
We recommend conducting a customer needs assessment prior to initiating any customer survey or customer satisfaction survey in order to ensure that you are starting with a clear picture of what is most important to your customers and what they feel their most critical needs are. This makes sure that your customer survey talks to your customer and asks the right questions of the right people in the right way.
Call us now to talk to a customer survey expert and learn how a customer needs assessment can help you.