How to understand your customer needs

Companies want to stay relevant and innovative and often try to look into each other to borrow, copy, and emulate what is working, while at the same time discarding what’s not working. The vital component in determining the success or failure of businesses is how a business treats its customers. Towing services in Fayetteville have been on the forefront to understand their customer needs so as the provide the best customer experience.

At the most basic level, a customer need is a motive that triggers a customer to buy a product or service. Customer needs are the drivers of a customer’s purchasing decision. Companies normally look at customer needs as an opportunity to resolve and draw more customers to their business.

Types of customer needs

There are different things every single customer needs. The first one is functionality. Customers need a product or service to function and are able to solve their problems. Additionally, customers have a unique budget and look forward to buying products within their budget.

Another thing every customer needs is convenience. Products or services offered by businesses need to be convenient and deliver to customer’s expectations. The experience of using such a product or service needs to be easy.

Alongside experience, the product or service needs to have a sleek design that ensures it is relative and intuitive to use. The product also needs to be reliable and have superior performance.

On top of performance, customers are looking for efficiency in the products they purchase. The product also needs to be compatible and ready for use.

Besides all said components that a product must-have, customers some expectations when it comes to service. When a customer gets in touch with the customer service of a business, they want empathy and to be keenly listened to by the people assisting them.

They expect fairness in pricing and service delivery. They also want to deal with a business that is transparent and embraces open communication in their dealings. They want to feel they are in control of business dealings from start to finish.

Types of customer service

The communication channels a business uses to respond to customer needs plays a vital role in ensuring customer grievances are met or not. Customer needs are time-sensitive and require immediate action.

The first channel of communication is email. It allows customers to fully describe their issues and automatically record a conversation in a resourceful thread. Email can be efficient when customer needs don’t have to be resolved right away.

Next, we have phone, which presents one of the best ways of giving customers immediate feedback. Phones connect customers directly to representatives and create an efficient human interaction between a customer and business.

We also have chat features, which can be efficient in solving high volumes of simple problems as well as providing detailed support for complex problems. Customer issues can also be solved via social media and in-person. Handling customers in person presents one of the oldest forms of customer service, especially for businesses that embraced brick and mortar.

Best Ways to Fund your Startup Without VC

businessA widely held notion among many people in the entrepreneurial circle is that the way to start and grow a prosperous business, be it a limousine service or tech company is to come up with an outstanding idea, write an awesome business plan, raise capital from venture capitalist and flawlessly execute your plan. This is always not the case, and chances of failing are on the high.

Taking a venture capital at the very initial stage of your business may be a bad idea. Additionally, in the very early stages of a startup, most financial institutions do not work. Below, we discuss innovative ways to raise startup capital for your business without seeking the help of venture capitalists. Here are the ways to go about it.

Pricing and purchasing structure

The use of a subscription model allows businesses to charge up front for an increased access to a service or product. With this model, you require customers to pay upfront then use the sales generated to finance the creation of a new service or product. The subscription models that you subject your customers to range from monthly, quarterly, bi-annually to annually. This model can prove to be very important when bridging an initial funding gap or when you are seeking to raise equity financing.

Trade and Barter

Trade and barter can be a very good model if you require funding to grow your company. If you are in the non-profit space, trade and barter may mostly come in the form of in-kind donations. If you are for profit organization, sometimes it may be easier to raise $50,000 worth of goods as compared to raising $50,000 in cash. All you need is to be flexible in your negotiations to achieve the best outcome. You can also search for opportunities that allow you to create mutual value through sponsorships.

Purchase Order Financing

Leveraging memorandums of understanding, contracts and purchase orders can enable you access financing at a cheaper rate. Let’s take an example; suppose you are in a contract with say, government to build 500 units of housing, and you need money to manufacture the initial inventory. You can choose to share your purchasing order with a financier to access debt financing at a lower rate. You can also sign legally binding agreements to pay for any service or product rendered.

Accelerator programs

growthAccelerator programs and fellowships enable entrepreneurs to grow their business and increase the likelihood of their business success. There are a lot of internationally recognized accelerator programs such as Y Combinator and TechStars. These accelerators normally invest a small percentage of equity. There are notable fellowships such as Kellogg Fellowships and Kauffman Fellows Program.

 

Family and Friends

Another sure way to raise capital for your business is through yourself. However, if your funds can’t allow, you can try raising it through family and friends. However, many entrepreneurs shy away from involving their family and friends in contributing towards their startup. It should not sound like begging or putting the people you love in an awkward position. All you need is to pitch to them professionally.