Learning what your customers’ needs are is an ongoing process for any business that plans to stick around long term. You can learn by asking, of course, but sometimes customers don’t even know what they need right off. Instead, try these methods for learning what your customers’ needs are.

Look at Your Data

You likely already have some data available from Google Analytics, social media analytics, your email marketing autoresponder or other places online. Put that data into order so that you can figure out exactly who your current customers are.

You may be surprised that they’re not who you think they are. For example, you may have thought your audience was mostly men between the ages of 24 to 36 and you find out that over half are female of the same age.

Speak to Stakeholders

If you have a sales staff, customer care support, and other people working with you, talk to them about the information they’ve gathered from the customers about their needs.

Often, you’ll find a customer need in a complaint. For example, if too many customers need to call and get directions on how to find the tutorial for their products, then you have a problem with disseminating the right information to your customers. Perhaps with the direction of customer service you’ll create a checklist to help them avoid the problem.

Map the Customer’s Journey

From the initial trigger event until they’re a paying customer and in your product funnel, you should be able to map their journey. This process will help you identify gaps in content needs, technology and more. Writing down the steps your customers needs to go in order to go through your entire product funnel is an exercise that will pay off.

Analyze Your Competition

The competition has followers that are your audience too. Look at what the competition does to attract this audience. Once you know this, you can use what you know to place ads directly to the competition in order to garner some of their customers as your own. Plus, you can see what they do that works and what doesn’t work.

Follow Your Customers

On Twitter and all social media, it’s important to follow your customers. When you do this, you can learn a lot about them and what they stand for. You can learn about what problems they have that you can solve, and you can promote the products you already have to them.

The more you keep your eyes open and study your customers, the better your intelligence will become. Over time you’ll become a well-oiled machine that can name three pain points plus your solutions without batting an eye. But first you have to do the work to locate your customers and observe their behavior, using the analytics software that you have.

How to Determine What Your Customers Needs Are
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