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5 Key Types of Customer Needs


No matter what type of business you’re running, understanding consumer needs in marketing is paramount. Your brand’s longevity and success are measured by how well you stay aligned with your customers’ needs and preferences. 

More often than not, some businesses fail to do this. Sure, they have the capacity to promote their brands. But they lack the effort and commitment to make sure that their products and services meet their target audiences’ needs.

If you’re looking for the nitty-gritty of the different types of customer needs and motives, then you are in luck! Read on if you want to know the most common but crucial types of needs in consumer behaviour that you must take into account to ensure that your business is geared to provide long-term solutions to customers. But before that here’s a quick explanation of what customer needs are.

Customer Needs Definition

Customer needs are the driving factors that encourage an individual to decide whether to buy a product or not. Rule of thumb: As a business, your number one priority is to identify customer needs. Before starting your business or launching a new product, you should always ask yourself first key questions, such as, “What do customers want?”, “What are the reasons behind their purchasing decision?”, and ultimately, “Who are my customers?”

Having familiarity with your prospective individuals’ distinct preferences and motives enables you to identify their needs with accuracy and adapt and revamp your marketing proposition according to their demands.

Types of Customer Needs

Customer needs vary from one person to another. Say, a customer might be looking for a product based on its uses and functionality while others choose a product that fits their budget. That being said, here are five types of consumer needs and motives.

1. Price

Admit it, one of the factors that affect people’s purchasing decisions is the price. They have that natural reflex to compare products based on their prices. In fact, a good number of customers are more concerned with prices than anything else. Are they paying for convenience? Is it for quality? Or are they just paying for the brand?

This is especially true for competing businesses that offer the same products and services. It becomes harder for companies to stand out because they’re competing against the same nature of products. Price can be a great contributing factor in the decision-making process of customers.

You might be asking yourself by now, “Should I lower my pricing?”

It is not really necessary, but ultimately, the decision is yours. If you are competing against companies offering the same products under the same pricing, you have to think of smarter ways to pique the interest of your prospects. Give freebies, implement a reward program for your loyal patrons, or you can also give discounts to bulk purchases.

Additionally, if you are also running a virtual storefront, you can offer free shipping at a minimum price or for a specific number of orders. If you notice that a customer has added several items on their cart, try offering a free shipping voucher once they add another product.

2. Reliability and Functionality

These two should always be present and associated with pricing. One important thing you must know about modern-day customers is they are both savvy and practical with the brands they choose to follow. Not everyone will be quick to follow trends, especially when it comes to newly launched items. They inspect whether the item will be worth their investment. They want to spend on something that lives up to what it is promised to do. Customers also prefer products that last a long time so that it will be really worth the money they spent.

Ideally, you want to know why your customers buy your product and where exactly they use it. Once you get yourself familiarized with your customers’ motives, you must be able to adjust your approach and reassess your current product line to better suit the customers’ needs.

Don’t forget to conduct a thorough quality check on your items before launching it and making it available for sales. Similarly, if you are outsourcing for manpower assistance, make sure that they are well-trained and properly equipped to deliver your services accordingly.

3. Risk Reduction

After proving the reliability of your products and services, you must guarantee that your customers are not at risk of losing their time and investments after they make a purchase.

You can do this by providing a comprehensive layout of your insurance and return policies. This way, customers can seamlessly reach out to your customer support team whenever they encounter a problem with your products. They may request a replacement or a refund. Reducing their risks plays a crucial role in solving the general service needs of customers and strengthening user loyalty.

4. User-Centric Empathy

Empathy and friendliness come first when it comes to service needs. Customers need to feel heard, respected, and ultimately, acknowledged by companies. Recent studies suggest that poor customer empathy is one of the most common reasons for cart abandonment and loss of loyal clients. Compared to companies who practice remarkable business-customer relations, the lack of understanding of customers’ buying motivation leads to a massive decline in ROI.

So, what’s the bottom line?

Execute a user-centric approach. This should be done before, during, and after their purchasing phases. Ideally, you want to have an excellent customer support team ready whenever a customer interacts with you both physically and virtually.

5. Guidance (Through Information)

Another thing to consider when dealing with customer needs is providing customer assistance through comprehensive guides. Guides are useful and practical in both brick-and-mortar shops and virtual stores.

Most customers are unsure what to buy (especially when there are tons of selections and brands to choose from). In some instances, they tend to be even more confused when presented with more options to choose from.

As such, you need to guide them with clear and understandable details about your products. Be proactive and educate them about the differences between each item. Say, you are selling eyewear products. It would be best to provide a chart to help uncertain customers identify which shape, style, or color suits their facial structure best.

How can you execute this?

You can use different channels such as live chat, social media, messaging apps, or even emails to connect with customers seamlessly. Otherwise, try embedding short video clips or images on your product pages to help customers with their decision-making.

Understanding their standpoints and preferences gives you the opportunity to adapt and deliver the service that adheres to their needs (in this case, eyewear). Ask them about their favourite colours, or if they will be using your product for a specific event. Another good question to ask them is what kind of outfit do they want to use it with?

Suggest specific items based on their answers. Tell them what makes that particular item excellent for them or what makes it a good choice for that event. Doing so not only strengthens your connection with your customers, but it also educates them and allows them to explore untapped details about a product or service. 

Customers First!

You need them to fuel your engines! 

Hence, identifying their needs and motives is crucial. It might require some time to identify each one, but your business is bound for long-term success once you uncover and meet your target audience’s needs in every aspect. At best, your progress will not just be limited to garnering more customers or selling more products. Use the five customer needs listed in this blog to give you an edge and gain one step ahead of your competitors.

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