Customer Service Tip: Four ways to determine what your customer really needs

By: Emily Triplett Lentz (submitted by Carmen Gass)

Your customer—let’s call her Francine—adores your product, but she wishes it had one extra feature—we’ll call it Feature X—that would make her life easier and save her boatloads of time.

You don’t have Feature X. You’re not planning on building Feature X. Come to think of it, Francine is the only person who’s ever asked for Feature X. “What a weird idea, Francine,” you say to yourself. “Why would you want to do something like that?”

While you could tell Francine no and move on to the next conversation, more often than not you can help solve Francine’s problem in a way that works just as well (if not better) than
what she originally had in mind. It just takes a little effort to ask the right questions, figure out what her need really is, and convince her to implement the solution you suggest.

Here are four ideas to get you started.