What Customers Want: 10 Tips to Win Them Over

How often have you wondered what customers want?

Companies spend millions on market research every year trying to figure out the best answer to this pivotal question. Whatever your budget, it’s likely that your company has also invested significant resources in trying to understand the mysterious answer.

It’s not that complicated

The products and services you offer certainly change from time to time to meet customer needs, and success depends on staying ahead of the demand curve. That can be a challenge, and it’s easy to get lost in the details of big data while trying to assess the viability of one feature over another.

Fortunately, the real answer is not that complicated.

What do customers want? Here are ten things customers what you to know:

  1. They want respect. Customers are pretty smart and they don’t need to be patronized. Find the delicate balance between educating them and acknowledging what they already know. (And especially, don’t assume they’re out to take advantage of you.)
  2. They want appreciation. It takes more than a coupon for 10% off a $100 purchase. Appreciation means showing, with sincerity, that you value their business and you’ll work hard to earn the privilege of serving them again.
  3. They want you to look out for them. Will you let customers know if they’re making the wrong decision? Will you advise them when they need to do things to protect their security, or preserve the value of their purchase? Or is relationship over once you cash their check?
  4. They want to be heard. We all know that the customer is not always right. Whether they are right or wrong, when they’re upset, do you listen to their concerns? Do you show that you heard and understand their issues? Do you follow up and actually take action?
  5. They want stability. No one wants to do business with a fly-by-night company, and customers like to know you’ll be around for a while. They want to know your company is stable and committed to serving the market.
  6. They want you to stand behind your offerings. If you sell it, you should believe in it enough to service it, support it, and guarantee it. If you don’t trust your own quality, what should anyone else?
  7. They want to trust you. The don’t want to question whether you’re telling the truth, whether you’re honest or not. In most cases, the door to a trusting relationship is open until it’s closed. Keep it that way.
  8. They want integrity. A close cousin to trust, integrity is an essential ingredient for a long-term relationship. It comes from the top and extends to everyone in your company. You either have it, or you don’t.
  9. They want you to be referable. Customers won’t think much about giving referrals when selecting who to do business with, but they don’t hesitate to ask for them. When the time comes, they want to return the favor and share a great experience. Are you worthy of that? 
  10. They want to feel good. They may choose to love your business or just like it, either way, customers want to feel good about your brand and their customer experience. They want every touch point to affirm they made the right choice in picking you over the competition.
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