In his book Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans, entrepreneur Peter Shankman says that 80 percent of businesses believe that they employ “superior” customer service, but only 8 percent of customers actually agree. So, what do customers really want and how can you provide it?

The Spice Girls aren’t the only people that have said multiple times, Tell me what you want, what you really, really want! How many times have you thought to yourself, “What do my clients/customers want? What is REALLY most important to them? It’s not always obvious, but it’s certainly easy enough to find out.

The place to start is by surveying yourself. Chances are, what is important to you as a consumer aligns with what is important to them, regardless of the industry.

According to the American Management Association, customers have two kinds of needs, rational and emotional. The rational need is the product or service they are seeking from your company. The emotional need is how they want and expect to be treated while receiving that product or service.

It’s not rocket science? But, the emotional need can make or break the customer experience, so it’s best to get clarification. Ask your clients to state their expectations; then listen, and write them down. Share them with your team and revisit them to make sure you’re staying on track.

What are your customer’s top rational and emotional needs?

  • Quality products and services (rational)
  • Reliability (emotional)
  • Follow through (emotional)
  • Low maintenance (emotional)
  • Value (rational and emotional, but emotional at times)

Are you clear on your customers’ rational and emotional needs and are you meeting them? You’re both moving at a fast pace and you’re communicating on multiple levels, on multiple devices.. Ask and listen to what they say and how they react…usually they will you want they want, what they really really want!