Understanding customers is the way to succeed, says expert

4/11/2012



Investing time and money into understanding customers is crucial for adding meaning to interactions with them.

Colin Raney, design director of design firm IDEO, wrote on Harvard Business Review that companies should aim to understand the "needs, desires and motivations" of their clients, as the way this increases relevancy should help brands gain an edge over their rivals.

For those firms navigating through uncertainty in their industry, it's even more important for CEOs to provide their management team with the resources to understand their clients. Mr Raney stressed that the modern consumer is driven by experiences rather than product features, which "reframes" the situation.

He said: "Tectonic shifts in culture and technology over the past decade have rapidly accelerated change in the market. As a result, business strategy today is less about conceiving and executing a brilliant master plan and more about shaping an organisation that can quickly launch and learn from smart innovations."

While customer interactions may offer a great way for brands to understand their clients better, Intelligence Utility editor-in-chief Phil Carson pointed out that there is another facet to such relationships; the formation of bonds between consumers and retailers.

Mr Carson suggested business leaders in the utilities industry appear to be catching on to the idea that listening to their customers is a good way of finding out about what they want, while this "dynamic" relationship is also more capable of meeting expectations at a transactional level.














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