All companies care about how much they’re selling, don’t they?
But not all of them always remember to consider with the same attention a decisive point to achieve good results: meeting the needs and expectations of customers.
And anyone who believes that this information is an impossible mystery to unravel is wrong.
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What is the customer’s expectation?
The customer’s expectation is the set of characteristics, attributes and functionalities of the product or service he is purchasing that he believes will be able to solve his problem or meet his needs.
In other words: it is the result that the customer expects to obtain when purchasing a product or service.
But how to identify customer needs, translated into these expectations? We have some tips!
How to identify customer needs
We’ve selected some tips that can help you identify customer needs:
- Pay attention to customer doubts, calls and complaints through customer service channels and social networks;
- Watch customers using your solutions and find out what they might be missing;
- Study products or services similar to yours and see if there’s something your customers might want;
- Find out what other products or services your customers use in a way that complements yours and find out how to meet those needs;
- Do surveys with your customers, either online or by asking them directly;
- Use a CRM system to organize all the information about your customers and get to know them better.
How to meet customer needs and expectations?
Keep in mind that meeting customer needs and expectations is not luck or something out of control for the company.
Being able to create satisfaction among your buyers, retaining them and ensuring more sales are closely linked to the way employees deal with their customers.
Here are some ways to do this!
1- SPIN Selling Methodology
The SPIN selling methodology was created by the British Neil Rackham and consists of asking the right questions during a commercial process.
The questions must be formulated following steps consisting of 4 words:
These questions are related to what helps in understanding the customer’s overall situation.
It’s time to create a sense of empathy and to gather important data about the prospect’s situation.
Be sure to conduct a prior research on the client’s company, its products, segment, competition, etc.
Example: “How do you analyze the results of your marketing campaigns?”; “What is the current relationship with your customers like?”
After the previous step, ask questions about the existing problems pointed out by the customer.
Example: “How does your team react when this problem occurs?”; “What are the main problems of your advertising campaigns?”
Ask questions that prompt the customer to respond about the possible negative outcomes of an issue.
It is an essential moment for the prospect to start reacting to the identified challenges.
After all, only when the prospect realizes the seriousness of its consequences will a sense of urgency to resolve the issue be created.
Example: “If your marketing campaign is not delivering expected results, how do you think it will impact your sales team?”
Need for Solution:
Ask about the advantages that solving a given problem will bring to the company.
This is when you must create the sense of importance that your resolution has for the customer, showing all its value.
Therefore, try to be positive and show that you can end the company’s problem.
Example: “If you could better analyze your results, how could this help you in decision making, avoiding mistakes, delays and waste?”
What is the purpose of SPIN Selling?
SPIN Selling and its questions serve to make your company aware of the customer’s needs and expectations and, on the other hand, the customer is able to recognize their problems and the seriousness for their business if they do not solve them.
Thus, through the right questions, which follow the 4 steps, the buyer will perceive his real situation.
When you manage to make the customer wake up to their problems, you can take advantage of the circumstance to present yourself as the right alternative to solve these difficulties.
2- Customer Service
Constant improvement in customer service should be a constant concern of any company.
After all, when this service fails, your brand can easily lose the customer – and even have its prestige shaken.
The author of The Secret Language of Leadership, Steve Denning, points out that, from the “delight of customers” a legion of voices is formed that will convey a positive image of your company.
And, to ensure the satisfaction of the needs and expectations of customers and their loyalty, it is not enough just to provide a good product or service, it is also necessary to provide an excellent experience.
Therefore, try to provide a differentiated customer service, considering factors such as:
1- A prepared team
A well done customer service can only occur if it is carried out by a well-prepared team.
Therefore, try to invest in corporate training and employee qualification, in order to ensure that they are all aligned with the organization’s rules and objectives.
2- Choose humanization
Technology has brought greater impersonality to human relationships, and, therefore, humanized treatment becomes a real differential.
Know how to unite the best of technology, using CRM, Marketing Automation and other management tools, but know how to strengthen the relationship with your customers with a personal touch
The service team needs to invest in a closer relationship with the customer and interact more with them.
This can make the person feel special to your business.
3- Listen to your customers
It is very important to know how to listen to your customers, their opinions and demands.
It is necessary to guarantee them the feeling that they can express themselves freely.
So don’t try to force him to buy a product or overdo it with a more incisive approach.
4- Make the relationship tangible
It is necessary to strengthen the company’s relationship with its customers, making it more visible and noticeable.
For this, it is possible to offer gifts, exclusive products and even B2B loyalty cards.
These are options that convey the idea that you value and that you care about meeting customer needs and expectations.
5- Monitor social media
The current relevance of social media in customer service is huge.
Therefore, always try to keep employees connected, monitoring incoming messages and interacting with users.
This attitude helps to minimize criticism, preventing viral proportions.
Internet users end up being positively surprised, as they perceive the company’s efforts to communicate directly with them.
6- After-sales attention
Anyone who imagines that customer service ends when he purchases a company’s product or service is wrong.
It is essential to pay attention also in the post-sales when it is necessary to show interest in knowing if he is satisfied with the acquisition.
Thus, the team must demonstrate the same degree of attention that it offered in the period prior to the sale.
Furthermore, by analyzing customer feedback, it will be possible to detect positive points of your company and also those that need to be improved.
3- Customer Success
As seen in the previous item, it is a very serious mistake to consider that the concern with the needs and expectations of customers ends with the purchase.
Research shows that winning a new customer is about 7 times more expensive than retaining an old one!
So, if your company hasn’t been concerned about customer retention measures, start rethinking your strategies.
One of your main concerns needs to be offering “success” to your customers.
In other words, it is necessary to ensure that they continue to have their problems solved or that they continue to see your company as a good opportunity to do so.
It is through this thought that Customer Success emerges, which presents important differences when compared to Customer Service.
The Customer Success area in a company is marked by:
1- Greater proactivity
Customer Success is also responsible for maintaining a proactive characteristic, that is, it needs to be able to indicate solutions even before the problem is detected by the customer.
2-Has an expert in the area
The Customer Success Manager must be a professional with a lot of experience in the market in which the company is operating.
In addition, it is essential that this employee has multiple knowledge, from the most varied possible areas.
3-Continuous customer follow-up
In the Customer Success area, the monitoring of each customer must be continuously handled by the same employee.
This professional will be responsible for knowing all the history and all the problems that this buyer has gone through.
Thus, a feeling of greater proximity and trust with the customer will be created.
4- Customer Satisfaction Surveys
In order to guarantee this very advantageous loyalty, be able to measure and assess their level of satisfaction and know the needs and expectations of customers, surveys are very important.
For this, the process is simple: just choose a research model or methodology and apply it more than once at different stages of the purchase process.
One of the best known is the Net Promoter Score (NPS), but there are others.
From the responses recorded, it will be possible to measure the public’s position in relation to the shopping experience with your company, in addition to keeping a record of these numbers.
Thus, the results can serve as a basis for identifying strengths and possible failures being committed by your team.
Being able to respond to the needs and expectations of customers is a determining factor for the success of any company.
By taking the necessary steps in your company, it will be much more efficient in the task of attracting and retaining customers.