The importance of meeting customer needs
Sometimes the desire to make a profit in a company can cause business leaders to overlook a fundamental principle of the company: meeting the needs of customers. In theory, companies operate by providing a service or product that fills a gap in the market. Obviously, if there is no demand for the service or product that a company offers, it will not be sold. Also, companies are not necessarily created to be charities. After all, executives, technicians, sales reps, etc. all want and need a paycheck. The purpose of emphasizing customer needs is not to say that a business owner should ignore their own needs and the needs of those who work with them to satisfy the customer, but rather to recognize that by focusing on the process of pleasing the customer , the result of increased earnings is bound to happen.
For example, the food industry relies on the ability to market food products in an attractive and convenient way. Shopkeepers have a need to display items stored on shelves, refrigerated items, and even hot items if they have a deli or small restaurant to provide takeout or prepared food to their customers. For those companies that build hot food displays or refrigerated displays, it is vital that they understand what a specific merchant needs in order for the merchant to want their product. In other words, if the food display company wants to sell its product with the highest profit margin, but that product does not meet the customer’s needs, or it cannot be physically installed without investing additional resources to remodel the store, it is not likely the customer will buy. This example is certainly funny, but it illustrates the principle of listening to customer needs and working to meet them.
Perhaps the most important reason for meeting customer needs is that by becoming the company that meets the customer’s needs, customers become loyal to that company. Loyalty can be especially important in tough economic times because customers will want to be more careful with their money. Yes, it is impossible to quantify an abstract quality in a person such as loyalty, but nonetheless, it will make customers buy your products when they trust you are taking care of them. When customers feel like they’re being exploited to fill their coffers, their confidence fades, and when they have little to spend, don’t count on them spending it on you! The best way to keep them coming back again and again is to make sure they leave knowing that they have been treated fairly and that they got just what they need.