Customer needs refer to the specific requirements, desires, or expectations that a customer has for a product or service. These needs can be functional, such as the need for a product to perform a certain task, or emotional, such as the need for a product to provide a sense of comfort or satisfaction. Companies often strive to understand and meet the needs of their customers in order to create products or services that are valuable and desirable to them. This can involve conducting market research, gathering customer feedback, and analyzing customer behavior to identify trends and patterns. By fulfilling the needs of their customers, businesses can increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall success. The following are common types of customer needs.
Functionality & Features
Customers need products and services to accomplish objectives. For example, a customer needs a refrigerator that makes small ice cubes.
A customer needs a product or service that meets their budget objectives or constraints. For example, a student needs a reliable bicycle for under $100.
Time & Convenience
Requirements for products and services that save time and are easy to use. For example, a hotel that is close to major attractions.
A customer requires certain terms of service. For example, a mobile network customer requires privacy such that their location and data isn’t sold to third parties.
Expectations regarding end-to-end customer experience. For example, a customer may require a hotel that feels elegant and tranquil.
A customer requires a product in a particular style and color.
Design related requirements such as usability. For example, a customer requires a baby stroller that is easy to fold.
Status & Identity
Customers may view certain types of products and service as an extension of their identity and element of their social status. For example, a customer may require clothing that doesn’t have a visible brand logo.
Reliability & Durability
Customers often have requirements that products and services be reliable, available and durable. For example, an airline requires aircraft that can be operated safely for many hours each month.
Performance requirements such as speed or accuracy. For example, a customer requires a software service that can process a million transactions an hour.
Customer requirements for efficient resource utilization. For example, a customer requires solar panels with a high conversion efficiency.
A customer may have safety related requirements. For example, a customer may strongly prefer vehicles that do well in crash tests.
Quality of Life
Requirements related to quality of life such as a customer that expects healthy menu items from a restaurant.
Needs related to risk such as a customer that requires delivery insurance.
A customer needs a product with specific ingredients such as a moisturizer made with shea butter.
Requirements related to community impact, ethics and the environment.
A customer needs a product that is easy to open and reseal.
Integration & Compatibility
Requirements for products and services to work with other products and services. For example, a mobile device that accepts memory cards.
Standards & Compliance
A customer may require that a product or service adhere to a particular set of standards or rules. For example, a restaurant may require organic certifications for its ingredients.