Customer needs are constantly changing, often in unpredictable ways.
Customers may not be able to define their needs, in such cases businesses need to educate these customers, by leading rather than only responding.
Henry Ford once said: “If I have asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me: a faster horse”.
Who knows how transportation might have looked like nowadays if Ford just tried to research new ways to make horses faster!
If your customers don’t know their needs, you will have to educate them.
Organizations do not have to listen all the time to the voice of their customers, but sometimes they may choose to find out on their own ways to serve those customers better.
There are two approaches that can be followed while dealing with customer needs: businesses may focus on meeting existing needs, or create opportunities from potential business prospects.
Business opportunities may be found when businesses seek to provide solutions that meet unmet customer needs.
Entrepreneurs can create business opportunities by creating new products that satisfy needs customers were not aware that they exist.
Steve Jobs said: “Some people say: ‘Give the customers what they want’. But that is not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they are going to want before they do”.
Therefore, business opportunities can be found, or can be made.
Whether the development of new products is made to meet existing or newly-created needs, innovation management needs to be executed by organizations and entrepreneurs.
Hattem AlHajery, CMA, CDIF.