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Does Your Prospective Customer Care? Relating to Customer Perceived Needs.

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Sometimes we get so caught up in the features of our products and services that we forget to ask ourselves if the customer really cares.

Every company should take a long hard look at the way they are presenting their products and / or services to their prospective clients on a regular basis and compare it to what the perceived needs of a customer truly are. As the customer views it, not what you think the customer should consider important.

One industry that has managed to keep overall focus on customer requirements is the automotive repair and service businesses. When you see an advertisement for an oil change the advertiser does not describe their new pretty, state-of-the-art, yellow hoist and how it is the safest in the industry, they do not describe how they provide environmentally safe collection of dirty oil, they don’t tell you the name of the company that manufactured their oil filter removal wrench and they don’t tell you how often they have their service personal uniforms changed.

Why? Because as a general statement the customer does not care about those items and the primary reason he does not care is because the customer automatically assumes that if you are in the oil change business that you are managing those aspects of your business adequately.

Is it wrong for the customer not to care? Probably, but as they are the customer we must cater to their perceived needs not what we perceive their needs to be or what we perceive their needs should be.

What does the successful oil change service center advertise? The time it takes to do the oil change, the lowest level cost (they will try to up-sell you when you arrive) and possibly the manufacturer of the oil and oil filter. This is the proper service presentation for this business as a prospective oil change customer cares about cost, time and in many cases the manufacturer of the oil and filter.

Can you say the same for the products and / or services that you are selling? Successful companies are doing just that. We buy software because of what the end result of using it is, its benefit to us. We don’t really care about the programming language, how many bits or bytes are used, or the algorithms created to perform the tasks.

We buy garbage bags because of their size and strength to hold whatever we plan on putting in it. We don’t really care what the chemical make-up of the plastic is or other material that is used to make the bag. In 99% of cases we buy products and / or services for the end result and we care very little about how the end result is achieved.

If you are selling a product and / or service and you concentrate your presentation on the great design, on the material it is made from, that your development staff wear white shop coats or that you own your own free standing building and not what the product or service will actually accomplish for the customer, it is unlikely that you will be successful.

We are all proud of what we may have accomplished and in the manner that we have done it, and justifiably so. But, if all of this has no real meaning to the potential customer then you should not be presenting those facts, at least not as the key motivation for why they should do business with your company.

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