Think like a Customer

Date Posted: 2012-06-25

Customer is every company’s core business because without the customers, a company’s products or services is useless. This is one of the distinguishing factors between private business and public service, which pushes private businesses to work harder in caring about customers compared to public organizations that tend to forget that the public they serve are their principal sources of funds from whom they get their mandate and their salaries. Because of which, private companies need to take an extra effort in understanding customers to serve them well. One approach to do this is to think like a customer in order to anticipate the needs, requirements, and wants that a customer needs to address or satisfy in availing a service or purchasing a product.

Thinking like a customer means putting oneself in the shoes of customers in order to allow one to see the products or services that a company provides in the perspective of the customer. By doing this, a management can immediately anticipate and evaluate what, how, why and when a customer would want a service delivered or a product made.

However, there are different types of customers, hence it would be impossible for one to put oneself in different customer’s shoes. Besides, the circumstantial backgrounds of management or the analyst such as social and economic values, educational level and social context, can also affect how one interprets how a customer perceives. Thus, another way to understand and think like a customer is by conducting market research and get direct feedbacks from customers about the how’s, why’s and what’s of one’s product and services.

Finally, thinking like a customer may also be limiting, if management relies solely on this approach in improving in products and services. Most costumers are merely consumers that avail of products and services that are currently available. They do not necessarily think of ways on how products or services could be improved unless of course they experience something bad, which is directly attributable to the limitations or weakness of a product or service. Companies also engage in research and development to discover innovative ways to improve products and services. In which case, management thinks more than just a customer but an inventor who attempts to introduce more convenient ways or create needs that customers as consumers are unable to identify.

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