How to Identify and Meet Customer Needs Every Time

How to Identify and Meet Customer Needs Every Time

Last Updated on January 31, 2019

In the same way you determine what’s important to your employees; you can determine what’s important to your customers. Human emotional needs are universal and there are distinct patterns that can be observed when you know what you’re looking for. Let’s revisit those four basic human emotional needs and see how they can be observed during a typical phone interaction.

  • Validation – The need to feel important, valued, understood, or appreciated
  • Security – The need for comfort, predictability, consistency or safety
  • Excitement – The need for variety, risk, or challenge
  • Transcendence – The need to make an impact, to have a lasting legacy

In each of the following scenarios, the customer indicates an emotional need to the customer service agent. See if you can identify the need.

Scenario 1
A customer calls in to report a problem with the product they recently purchased. They talk less about the problem with the item and more about how their life has been impacted and how inconvenienced they’ve been as a result of the malfunction. Not only do they want the product replaced but they demand to be compensated for the time spent dealing with the issue that isn’t their fault.

Scenario 2
A phone sales agent and a customer are discussing a service the company is offering. The customer’s guard is up about trying something new. They talk about how their current service from another provider meets their needs and at a price that fits their budget. They focus on all the things that could go wrong by making a change.

Scenario 3
An agent is talking to a customer about a new product. The customer challenges the agent with multiple questions. Some are thought-provoking while others are irrelevant, rhetorical and even outlandish. The customer is clearly enjoying the interplay with the agent. Their interaction is more a game to the customer as the questions become more ridiculous.

In the first scenario, the customer is clearly trying to establish how important they are. The failure of the product makes them feel less valued. In turn, they expect service that acknowledges how much it matters that they’ve been wronged. Validation is this customer’s most important emotional need. The best way to serve this customer is to show genuine understanding and appreciation of how the customer’s life has been affected. This will establish rapport and begin the process of rebuilding trust.

In scenario 2, the customer is risk-averse. Change is not good for them and they want to avoid it like the plague. The status quo is where they find comfort and maintaining it is of the utmost importance. This customer values security more than anything. When things are stable, unchanging, and safe they are most comfortable.
These customers are served best by acknowledging their need and emphasizing the product’s money-back guarantee should the customer not be satisfied. By focusing on the new product’s similarities with the current one, the gap can also be bridged.

In the third scenario, the customer treats the interaction like it’s a sport. The fun is in pushing the envelope and seeing when the agent will crack. The customer gets an adrenaline rush from putting the agent through their paces. This customer’s primary emotional need is excitement. They are best served by playing into their need for excitement and going along with the joke. Give as good as you get. Nothing is more exciting than matching wits with an equal.

Coaching agents to identify customers’ emotional needs pays big dividends. The connections made with customers are the building blocks of trust. From trust comes loyalty. From loyalty comes advocacy. Profitable growth from repeat and referral business is cost-effective and sustainable regardless of economic factors.

The best way to coach agents is to provide feedback from actual calls that are observed or recorded for later review. The impact of sitting down with an agent and having them listen to a call while you point out indicators of the customer’s emotional needs is priceless.

Versadial’s voice logging system makes recording calls simple. Our call logger captures all inbound and outbound calls, with the corresponding call details, and works with multiple call recording boards. Combined with our easy to use software, your managers will have everything they need to record and review agent calls from analog, PBX, ISDN, or VoIP lines.

We love doing LIVE demos of our call logging solutions at work. Call us today to schedule one. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll see exactly how our software can revolutionize the way your agents are trained.

Last Updated on January 31, 2019