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How To Understand Your Customers

Aug 17, 2007
Today, the businesses located in most of the places throughout the world have either turned global in their operations, or are influenced decisively by globalization. In this globalized economy, many advances have been made in technology, due to which businesses have turned extremely sharp toothed. This is to tackle the threat they face from the tough and ever changing landscape of competition. Competition favors customers. This is something that no one can deny. Competition also forces businesses to have a customer focus in all their processes and operations.

Competitiveness In The Business Environment
Due to avenues of information and communication like the internet and mobile phones, customers have access to business information at their fingertips. The internet has been accused of stimulating competition to a very high degree. But the rules of survival for any business, whether or not it has an online presence on the World Wide Web, are the same: satisfy your customers so that they will return. Satisfy your customers so that they will refer more and more people and businesses to become your new customers.

It is not enough now for businesses to focus solely on the quality of their products. Quality should be a major focal point for companies, but they should also concentrate their efforts on customer relations. Businesses should learn how to interact with customers well so that they have a loyal customer following. They can use personalized and intelligent ways to interact with them productively. Customer service is a very important business operation. Without customer service, businesses just cannot survive. Customer service is the key to overcoming competition.

Cost of Customer Acquisition
One should understand that the cost to acquire new customers is much higher than the costs that are incurred to retain customers. Online businesses are no different. Customers can now switch loyalties through a mere click of their mouse and e-businesses know this fact. They need to understand how to interact with their customers and understand their needs.

Customer Satisfaction
The ways for businesses to satisfy their customers are not difficult. The first step is to understand what the customers need and what their preferences are. This can be a tough call for some but it is crucial for any business to operate successfully and profitably. Understanding customer needs will help businesses to tailor their product or service offerings to address exactly those needs and fulfill them.

In order to identify and understand customer needs better, businesses should ask the classical questions, which are asked by anyone who wishes to get information: why, what, how, when and where.

First, businesses need to know why the customers intend to buy what they are buying. Secondly, they should understand what exactly prompts or augments their needs so that they decide to buy what they are buying. Third, it is important to understand how typical customers go about fulfilling their needs. Lastly, businesses should know and understand when and where the customers go to buy things or services that fulfill their needs.

Software Solutions
There are many software packages that are being sold by companies to help businesses understand their customers better. This software is robust and reliable for most business needs. One would do well to consider going in for these solutions.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes a free weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com.
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