For these and other reasons the cost difference and

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cause a significant public relations headache. For these and other reasons the cost difference and relative impacts on organizations between gaining and retaining customers can be staggering. A useful analogy is that only a fool tries to fill a bucket of water when the bucket has lots of holes. Better to fix the holes and stop the leaks before you try to fill the bucket. Especially consider the actual cost of retaining customers when all that many customers require is not to be upset. Identifying Customers Need, What Customers Want However good your product or service is, the simple truth is that no-one will buy it if they don't want it or believe they don't need it. And you won't persuade anyone that they want or need to buy what you're offering unless you clearly understand what it is your customers really want. Knowing and understanding customer needs is at the centre of every successful business, whether it sells directly to individuals or other businesses. Once you have this knowledge, you can use it to persuade potential and existing customers that buying from you is in their best interests. Why Do Your Customers Need You? Every business needs a reason for their customers to buy from them and not their competitors. This is called a Unique Sales Proposition (USP). Your USP can be identified by completing the phrase 'Customers will buy from me because my business is the only one. Your USP can change as your business or your market changes, and you can have different USPs for different types of customer or product.
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You can conduct your own market research and there are many existing reports that can help you build a picture of where your customers' markets - and your business - may be going. For information on market research, see our guide to market research and market reports. Ten things you need to know about your customers 1. Who they are If you sell directly to individuals, find out your customers' gender, age and occupation. If you sell to other businesses, find out what industry they are in, their size and the kind of business they are. For example, are they a small private company or a big multinational? Knowing this can help you identify similar businesses that you could target. 2. What they do If you sell directly to individuals, it's worth knowing their occupations and interests. If you sell to other businesses, it helps to have an understanding of what their business is trying to achieve. 3. Why they buy If you know why customers buy a product or service, it’s easier to match their needs to the benefits your business can offer. 4. When they buy If you approach a customer just at the time they want to buy, you will massively increase your chances of success. 5. How they buy For example, some people prefer to buy from a website, while others prefer a face-to-face meeting.
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