Focus your business around customer needs

Well-constructed service descriptions reflect customer needs and identify the distinctive benefits of value to your customers. You make a difference to the lives of your customers by delivering specific services to your ideal customers, which fit with their needs.

Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and ask yourself what do you do for your customers?

Customer needs: How would I want to be served by this business?

How can you develop to be the ideal business for your ideal customer?

What do you need to improve in order to meet your ideal customers’ expectations and your own?

What do you want to deliver to your customers which aligns with your values and which use your unique talents and strengths?

What are your customer needs?

Develop Intelligent Service Descriptions

Develop intelligent service descriptions which match your customer needs.

As a first step develop intelligent descriptions for each of your services which describes the Features, Advantages and Benefits of your service – a FAB analysis.

Feature

What is it? A description of your service (noun), e.g. an accountant prepares monthly management accounts.

Advantage

What will it do? The positive results this will have (verb, adjective, adverb) e.g. monthly management accounts help you plan your business and make informed decisions.

Benefit  

What does this mean to me? The positive outcome specifically for the customer e.g. a small business with tight cash flow may value the benefit that, you know where your money is being spent and can take prompt action to control your costs, so the business is more profitable.

Once you have completed your FAB analysis rank each FAB item in terms of importance to your customer needs and then consider how you may differentiate each of those aspects from other similar services. In many cases this will be dependent on your specific approach and relationship with your customer.

Your service descriptions should match your customer needs to offer aspects that your ideal customer values and be distinctive from other competitive offerings.

Download the FAB planning sheet as a guide to help you describe your customer needs.

Map your Customers’ Journey

One method of helping to identify value and distinctiveness to match with your customer needs is to map your customer’s journey[2].

At each stage of your service engagement and delivery you can map out each “Moment of Truth” (any time your business comes into contact with your customer).

At each of these points you can identify what the customer needs are and how you can meet those needs at each point of customer connection with value and distinction.

Are you clear on how your offering fits with the customer needs of your ideal customer? You can test your ideas with your customers, get feedback and see how your offering fits with your customers’ needs.

Action: Identify your customer needs, write your distinctive service descriptions and map your customers’ journey.

 

[1] Hall S. & Stringer J. (2001) Attracting Perfect Customers

[2] Carlzon J. (2001) Moments of Truth

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