3.1.1 Customer needs
The basic process that a buyer travels through is the same, irrespective of the product or service being purchased. However, it may be prolonged and completed more rigorously if the product is of high value. There is a basic exchange process between customer and organisation.
Task 15: Customer needs
Consider a product or service that your company will provide.
Describe the exchange relationship with a customer by filling in the boxes in the Customer needs template.
You might like to consider a number of different customers – you may find that their needs are quite different.
Share your thoughts with other entrepreneurs in your local networks.
Case study: Gwyneth
Gwyneth might first consider the customer who buys her jams, preserves and chutneys at farmers’ markets and food fairs or when she visits their business premises. They buy and take the product home to eat. This customer wants unique, fresh food. Gwyneth wants this customer to buy on a monthly basis and tell their friends how good the product is.
The needs of this customer are primarily about the nature and quality of the food. To meet the needs of this customer, Gwyneth must have a consistent service. The full range of her products must be available each time she attends a market, where she will be at a regular time slot. The product itself must be of a reliable quality.
When Gwyneth considers the retail manager who buys for their deli she has to take into account their needs as a business too. The manager wants to have an easy and reliable order procedure, with variations in order quantities if required. The manager wants to be able to offer samples to customers to be able to demonstrate the quality of the product and market it so there must be some surplus stock. Invoices will need to be delivered with accuracy and on time. The manager also wants to have good food with no complaints from customers!
The needs of this customer are not just about the food. They also have needs arising from the systems and processes of Gwyneth’s company. To meet the needs of this customer, Gwyneth must also have a reliable delivery service, good order and invoicing processes and be able to finance a day delay in receiving payment.