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    So, tell me what you want, what you really, really want…

    Picture of Andy Cripps
    Andy Cripps 24, February 2021

    Surely being customer focussed/centric is so obvious as to be a non-event? Customers buy what we produce - and we provide it at an acceptable price and make the profit that sustains our business.

    But how do we decide what to produce – or provide in the case of a service? Well, too often we produce or provide only what we know how to produce or provide. Something that uses really smart technology perhaps. Or something that we’ve seen someone else do and believe we can offer better value, or give a better outcome. 

    What if we were to provide the one thing that the customer really, really wants or needs? Merely introducing our proposition to them means they can immediately see the value in it – it removes a pain point, or empowers them to achieve something at a much higher quality, or more quickly. So much so, that the price is almost removed from the decision-making process. The buying decision is an emotionally lead one.

    This approach is available to all businesses. It starts with really being aware of precisely what the customer (s) wants. Often, they will tell you, if you ask the right question. Equally often show you, (unconsciously – you have to be a keen observer) and then despite how difficult it initially might appear, you find a way to deliver it.  

    There’s a well known quote from Henry Ford, (pioneer of the mass produced automobile) from the early 20th century, “If I’d asked the public what they wanted, they’d have simply said a faster horse.” We all want what we know. But we delight in someone imagining a better future and then delivering it for us. 

    At the beginning of lockdown last year, we probably wanted to order something online out of necessity and have it delivered to our door – free of charge – later the same day. Doesn’t sound so difficult now…

    This article was prepared for Women's Business Link by Andy Cripps, Bridging the Gap Entrepreneur Director at Brunel University London. 

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