Have you ever asked – Do you know your client’s needs and understand how you can deliver that suits their requirements?
While I was growing up in Mumbai, my mom used to travel by local train to work and bring groceries while coming back home from street side vendors. Often I accompanied her to the marketplace.They know what time she comes from work and what’s her buying habits. They ask her about family, work and give her fresh vegetables & fruits without her explaining what she needs.
Isn’t this a counterintuitive approach? The result is repeated business one after another.
As a project manager, I work on a project which takes 2-3 months to implement a project. I get a limited opportunity to interact with customers. My job is different as compared to the street-side vendor. I have advanced technology and various customer success tools. However, I do not know all factors about customer’s routine. I have thousands of data points to connect dots and comprehend customer behavior. However, we always miss critical component in the project because we do not know customer expectations. Knowing and understanding customers need is at the center of every successful business, whether it deals directly with individuals or other businesses. Once we have this knowledge, we can use it to persuade potential and existing customers that buying from you is in their best interests.
Peter Drucker, the management consultant and author, said: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
To make this easy for me, I choose to work on asking questions that can assist the clients in getting their need met with their expectation.
Some of the questions are:
- What should I learn to ask more about my customers?
- What type of work culture the organization has ?
- How can I understand the interaction of our team members that helps my clientele?
- Why do they need my product and what they are trying to accomplish with it?Now, the questions can be different, but the approach can vary depending on the organization. It will be easy to find these answers in consumer based product customers, but enterprise customers need more inquiries to understand their need and expectations.Alternatively to remind me: The “Five Ws” (and one H) were memorialized by Rudyard Kipling in his “Just So Stories” (1902), in which a poem is accompanying the tale of “The Elephant’s Child” opens with:I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
Undoubtedly the success of any company depends on their value offering using their concept and technology. Then why not all companies make a mark. It is the right time to ask what people want and How can their needs can be met? I firmly believe it is more crucial to know in this competitive culture what customer wants and how we could align all internal resources within the organization to deliver it by asking right questions.
Note: What are the questions you often ask to know about your clients? Tell me through your comments.
Also published on Medium.