Four Steps to Uncovering a Need and Finding a Solution
Most people will tell you they prioritize the price of a good or service over other factors, such as the brand’s popularity, the attractiveness of the product’s packaging, or access options to the good or service. In truth, the customers’ perception of the overall value they’ll get from choosing that product largely influences their buying behavior. Rather than add or change the features of your offering, find out what your consumers really think they’re paying for when they buy from you or from another source.
Let’s say, for example, you’re running a business that requires people to provide their personal information to validate the payments they’ve made to a bank or a collection agency. Now, you’re thinking of improving the quality of customer service you provide, but you’re not sure where to begin.
The first step is to observe the customer. Observe how the buyer or client experiences the process of selecting a brand or service and paying for it. See how your employees from the salespeople to the customer service personnel deal with your customers. Apart from those your competitors offer, look at other products that consumers use as substitutes to yours and investigate what other benefits they provide.
The second step is to analyze at what point the customer encounters a problem. It’s possible the payment process takes too long because of complicated forms to fill up. Another issue could be that payments made to collection agencies take two to three days to clear through before they’re remitted to the company.
Next, isolate instances where people do a job poorly. It’s very likely that the collection firm has been harassing your customers in your name. It’s also possible that your own employees have been disrespectful to certain types of clients, such as people who look like they skipped the shower and went to pay their bills in their sleeping attire.
Lastly, identify the customer’s motivations for using the product or service. Ask yourself, “What do my customers want to accomplish?” Based on research you did, you realized that your customers would appreciate a more convenient and speedy payment service.
In the example provided, major issues arise from the length of time to complete the purchase to the low quality of customer service from third-party providers. So, the best solution is to offer customers other ways of paying, such as through their mobile phones or via online sites like Paypal. Obviously, you’ll be changing the content of your business model by adding more payment schemes to your value proposition.