4 Future Needs Of Customers That Will Drive Your Business Processes

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

27 December, 2018

Listen to customers digital dialThere are many forecasts of how the future will affect our businesses and each one of these reports has a slightly different perspective on the effects it will have, depending on your industry.

What we need is a rule of thumb, or generic guidance, on what will affect us, regardless of our products or services we offer.

Here, we discuss just four of these needs that customers will have both now and in the future.

If we are able to reconcile our activities to assist our customers achieve these needs, we stand a much greater chance of succeeding in the future marketplace.

MTD’s research has highlighted these four as being generic and impactful.

See what you think:

Swift Responses to needs – Flexible, agile, adaptable

The one word that keeps cropping up in research about future business is the ability to be ‘agile’ in our response to needs.

By responding quickly to those ever-changing needs, we show ourselves to be a valuable asset to our client’s business, because we are able to aid them to adapt and become flexible in the way they deal with issues and their customer concerns.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How is my service set up to respond swiftly to customer enquiries?
  • What do I have to do to improve in this area?
  • What competitive advantage will it give me if I am able to respond more adeptly to the changing needs of prospects and clients?

Advice from Experts and trusted advisors on how clients can be assisted to attract more business

A key aspect that will determine loyalty from customers in the future will be our ability to show them how they can gain more business from their customers.

You value to them increases as they see you as more than just a vendor or supplier of materials.

Becoming a trusted advisor opens up many chances to be forward-thinking, and increases your chances of being approached by a customer when they have a need for it.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How close am I to my key customers, so they view me as an expert in my field, rather than a vendor of my products?
  • How am I showing my expertise NOW in the marketplace (through writing articles, solutions, whitepapers and the like)?
  • If my key customers were looking for advice and assistance, would I be the first person they contacted? If not, how can I ensure that happens?

Global, European and Local Competition

Your future competitors will not hold back in becoming your customers’ choice wherever they can, so you have to be aware of how they are advancing in product quality, service back-up and technological advancements.

You cannot expect loyalty from your customers if you’re not keeping up with advancing demands and evolving needs.

Depending on your industry, it may be harder or easier for your competition to infiltrate your market, especially if you are UK based and Brexit has an impact.

However, be aware that your customer needs may well be changing and it’s possible your competitors could assess those needs better than you.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How can I become more aware of what my competition are doing to advance their product quality and selling opportunities in the future?
  • Where might my future competition come from and how can I become agile and flexible in my approach to this threat?
  • Why might my key customers use my competition instead of me, and what contingences can I put in place before it becomes an issue?

The whole company experience, internal and external, involving technological advances and personal relationships

As technology becomes more and more usable and affordable for businesses, there will still be a need for that ‘personal’ touch, as customers will still see personalisation and ownership as prerequisites for excellence in service.

The whole experience people enjoy when utilising your services will still be seen as a key differentiator in loyalty and consistency.

The future experience may well involve companies having to reallocate resources to areas that mean more to buyers, like the overall time it takes to facilitate orders, or how they deal with challenging issues.

So, even in a global economy with technological specialists, the ‘how’ customers are dealt with may well prove to be that one driver to loyalty above all else.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What experiences do my customers have now that makes them happy to use my services?
  • How will those experiences need to change in the future to match the changing needs?
  • What will be most important to customers in the future that will drive loyalty and customer satisfaction?

Each of these drivers of future business will impact you at different levels.

The real key is adapting and developing your services so that buyers feel you can assist them to gain more business in the future.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Sales Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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