Customer Needs and Wants

Customer Needs and Wants

Achieving Excellence: How to Truly Understand and Fulfill Customer Needs, Wants, and DesiresBy Mark Hamister, CEO, The Hamister Group, Inc. My vision of how to lead a company has always been based on three principles: know your product; understand your customer; and don’t accept mediocrity.Knowing your product is the easiest of the three, although we all have encountered plenty of sales and management staff who don’t. These people need to practice MBIWA (Management by Interacting and Walking Around) and |
understand their products from the front line.  I advise my management staff to get out onto the floors, talk to people in every department, and learn how each part of the product works. I stay in my hotels as a guest and take my spouse with me for a woman's perspective. After learning every aspect of our properties, we then take great care to avoid falling into the trap of fixating on our products so intensely that we can’t see them through our customers’ eyes.Most companies view customer needs, wants, and desires from their own perspective or try to guess at them.  This is unfortunately the case with people who know their products exceptionally well: they can’t see them from any vantage point but their own.  Our team prides itself on asking customers what their needs, wants, and desires are.  We actively listen to our guests and base our product strategies on their responses.  For example, we recently asked some of our extended-stay guests about their hotel expectations: they answered that they wanted a clean room, a pleasant bathing experience, a comfortable night’s sleep, and a hassle-free, secure environment.  They also told us that we already fulfilled these needs.  So we asked what we more we could do to improve their experience.  These guests spend a lot of time away from their families.  What they most desired was a better way to have more contact with their kids—something that they didn’t think we could do anything about.  So we installed a...

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