Identifying customer needs to provide solutions should always be a primary focus whether you market your business online or offline. While marketing your business online is different in many ways from marketing offline, the basic rules for running your business are the same. You have a real business with real customers who have real wants, needs, desires, and challenges.
Satisfying customer needs is essential, but the challenge with marketing online is that you get to meet very few of your customers in person. Therefore, it’s important to discover ways that will allow you to know what their needs are so that you can take steps to satisfy those needs.
Before you can get started in understanding their needs, you must first identify who your ideal customers or clients are. Once you have determined who they are, you’re now in a position to find out what problems they may be experiencing and how you can provide solutions to those problems.
You can do this in your blog posts, articles you publish in the various article directories, posts on social media, and products you create. How do you identify online customer needs and provide solutions?
A huge challenge for many online marketers is finding where these customers are hanging out so that they can learn what their pain points are. This is important, because identifying customer needs to provide solutions means that you are taking a personal interest in your customers. As a result, you will attract customers who want to learn from you. They will understand that you “get it.” You understand their needs–their pain–and are willing to take the time to provide solutions.
Email Marketing for Identifying Customer Needs
If you are building a list of persons who have given you permission to send them email messages, start with that list. They have already raised their hand to tell you that they’re interested in what you have to say. Once you have built a relationship and they come to know, like and trust you, they will be willing to give you great feedback. You can simply ask what their biggest challenges are in an email, or you may choose to create a survey form.
Forums for Identifying Customer Needs
Active forums where your ideal customers hang out provide great resources for knowing the questions your customers and potential customers are asking. You’ll often discover that you’re not the only person providing solutions, but if the products that are available are not satisfying the needs of your customers or clients, then find out how you can make them better; find out what’s missing and create a better product.
Social Media for Identifying Customer Needs
Another great meeting place to find your ideal customers and clients so you can identify their needs of online customers and provide solutions is Social Media. Within the various channels are groups of like-minded people.
Become a part of these social media groups so you can see what questions they’re asking. See what answers or solutions have been given. Participate and give your answers. If you feel more information is needed, then use the opportunity to create a product, sometimes just a short free report that explains the answer in more detail. Based on feedback, you can determine if, in order to provide solutions, you should create a more detailed product.
Customer Feedback for Identifying Customer Needs
Make it easy for your customers and clients to give you feedback. In so doing you will be more effective in identifying customer needs to provide solutions that will make their lives easier and show that you care about bringing them value.
Companies are recognizing the value of receiving feedback from customers, and some are proactive and innovative in the way they do this.
“…Many organizations have implemented feedback loops that allow them to capture feedback at the point of experience. For example, National Express has invited passengers to send text messages whilst riding the bus. This has been shown to be useful, as it allows companies to improve their customer service before the customer defects, thus making it far more likely that the customer will return next time.” Wikipedia.
What is another way that you use to identify customer needs in order to provide solutions to their challenges? Please share in the comments.