Achievement Principle No. 3: Are you anticipating and satisfying your customer needs?

I’ve been pretty quiet of late so the Achievement Principles are a bit late. However, I’m hoping that you spent some time implementing the other two. Action is the key element to smart marketing.

If you haven’t..here is a little reminder:

Achievement Principle 1 – How much time do you waste?

Achievement Principle 2 – What’s your value proposition?

So I’m back teaching/training in marketing and I’m loving it. Everytime I do this course, I fall a little bit more in love with marketing and communications. Marketing truly is a circular process and if you follow the pattern, it’s almost like knitting or sewing. It’s easy when you know how and if you drop a stitch, you know what to do instead of panicking!

But enough of the sewing analogy, what I want you to think about today is this – the definition of marketing. Lets get right back to what marketing is.

Marketing is the management process of identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer needs.

So breaking it down and making it relevant for you,

  • How do you identify what your customers needs are?
  • How do you anticipate their needs before they realise them?
  • How do you satisfying them?

Lets go through them one by one, complete with simple actions that you can do easily…and straight away. Click here to read more

1. Identifying your customers needs

You’re in business for one main reason – to solve your customers’ problems. So what are they? How did you discover them when you first set up? Because the chances are, they are the main needs you are solving.

Action:

Go back to why you set up your business in the first place – it will be easy to identify what your customers’ needs are and what problem you solve.

2. Anticipating needs

How do you know what your customer wants? If you don’t know their needs, then how are you going to anticipate new ones?

Actions:

Here are a few simple ways to find out:

1. Ask your customers!

So many people don’t ask their customers what they want, how their needs are being met and what other needs they have so go ask them.

2. Survey your customers

If you can’t ask them directly, then create a survey and send it to every customer. Use an ethical bribe to encourage survey feedback.

3. Read external information

There is information everywhere and you should be gathering intelligence from your suppliers, your competitors, social media sites, industry articles etc. I cut out clippings from Sunday papers, newspapers and create bookmarks for interesting sites. You can do the same.

3. Satisfying your customers’ needs

Okay, lets actually look at this in two parts.

  • The first part is satisfying your customers needs
  • The second part is satisfying those customer needs more than your competitor

Lets face it – you should really be satisfying your customers’ needs more than your competitors.

Action:

So how well do you know your competitors? If you don’t know that, then maybe it’s time to find out.

I was just reading the latest Duncan Bannatyne’s book and he said that he finds out everything he can about his competitors. Obviously he can’t go for a workout in a competitors gym but he can send in a team.

By asking your customer what their needs are, you should find out whether or not you’re satisfying them. Not knowing is the killer; as a business owner you can deal with constructive criticism. It’s the not knowing whether or not you’re satisfying your customers is bad. Customer care statistics show that about 68% of customers will never use you again due to apathy.

In summary,

It comes down to this – talk to your customers. Find out what they are thinking, find out what they like, what they would like to see from you.

A customer is for life – you need to get them and keep them. You’ll do that by finding out what their evolving needs are and continue to satisfy them. Again and again and again.

Take care,

Denise

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About Denise Fay

Denise Fay is an author, speaker and international marketing consultant and copywriter. She set up the marketing agency, Achieve Marketing in 2006 working with SMEs. She cemented her position as an authority on copywriting when she wrote her first book, the award-winning ‘31 days to write better copy‘ in 2011.

Denise has been featured as an expert in the Irish Independent, Sunday Business Post, Evening Herald and Irish Sun, on radio with the John Murray show on RTE Radio and on TV including TV3′s IrelandAM.

Her company, Achieve Marketing, provides business, marketing, copywriting and success advice to SMEs and multi-nationals.

If you liked this principle, you’ll love Denise’s approach to marketing and copywriting to help you start, market, and grow your business. Learn more at www.denisefay.com and www.achievemarketing.ie.