We’ve recently talked about customer experience mapping and the need to identify every type of customer your brand or organisation has. But have you ever wondered how to do customer analysis and why customer need analysis is so crucial to your business? Hopefully, our full guide here will help to shed some light on the reasons why it’s so important as well as the processes.
What is Customer Need Analysis?
Put simply customer service or customer need analysis is about making both a qualitative and quantitative observation of how your customers engage with your organisation or brand. Gaining a true insight into them as particular segments and not just one ‘whole’ means that you’ll be able to identify buying behaviours, customer frustrations, and their end to end the journey with your business. From doing this work you’ll be able to understand what you need to do to enhance the buying experience, create a smoother customer journey and improve your own operations – which should lead to a positive impact on your bottom line.
How Can You Begin Customer Analysis?
To really excel at delivering an outstanding customer experience (CX) you need to really understand your customers. Your existing customers and your future customers. For this, it’s worth spending the time, and the money, identifying exactly who they are, and surveying them to find out why your product and services are appealing to them (or not). But to really gather the useful data you need to capture details like age, gender, location, and demographics as well as information on their interests and preferences, as well as their attitude towards your brand. Then, and only, then will you get a true picture of who is interested in your product/services, and from there you can start to group these individuals into personas.
What’s a persona and why’s it important
If you approach customer experience mapping right, you’ll be staring at a sea of data. By grouping individuals by age, interest, and possibly location you can start to see and relate to these groups. By giving them a profile, you and your team can start to understand the persona more clearly and gain a more holistic understanding of their needs and aspirations.
It’s important to think about the buyer of your product or service and whether they’re also the user too. For example, toys maybe used by children but, in the majority, they’re purchased by grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts and friends, not the child himself. So, as you start to segment and create your personas you also need to keep the following criteria in mind:
Make sure you can clearly define the difference between the segments of your audience.
What’s their spending power as a persona and what is the right investment from a marketing point of view for your brand or business to reach them. You can justify spending more marketing budget reaching one persona over another if you know that they’re more likely to purchase.
Look at your different personas and prioritise which ones you need to invest in. You’ll certainly have clearly engaged groups and some that are outliers that are more chance buyers than an engaged audience with your brand or business.
Remember just because your marketing messages work for one group doesn’t mean they’ll work for others. You need to create messaging that, while it remains true to the core of your business, resonates with each segment.
Never has the omnichannel experience been more important. All of your personas will adopt different paths to engage with your business so it’s important to create a cohesive omnichannel experience for your customers.
And remember your analysis of each segment/persona should enable you to gauge to what degree your efforts, investment and, ultimately, the engagement from each segment has been a success.
Why is Customer Need Analysis So Important?
Hopefully, the reasons highlighted above are compelling enough to encourage you to take this analysis seriously, but if not, here’s some more food for thought…
People are willing to pay for great CX
– a Walker study recently highlighted, by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Your customers can help you to innovate
– Eric Von Hippel, from MIT conducted a study with the Institute of Management Sciences on the relationship of superstar customers and company innovation. By studying more than 1,193 successful innovations, Hippel discovered that 60% of these innovations came from customers.
– if you don’t provide a great experience your audience will find someone who can. According to Gartner, more than two thirds of companies now compete primarily on the basis of customer experience.
Of course, once the work is done you don’t simply place it on the inevitable shelf to gather dust. You revisit your customer need analysis time and time again. Interrogate it, get your team to continue questioning so that you can keep abreast of your customers ever-changing needs. Your customers will help your business or brand to innovate and in doing so, your business will stand a much better chance of evolving and succeeding in the tumultuous world we now find ourselves in.