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What do customers want?

Customers can blow hot and cold. They seem distracted by choice and get frustrated with a disjointed experience. Customer satisfaction surveys tell us that they want things “made easier” or “made more simple”. But this sounds more like people are short of time, are not feeling invested or have a short attention span.

There also seems to be a cynical view of traditional marketing and fatigue about selling. We use social networks to inform our views of products and services. We spend our time online, always connected and always-on. As a result, customer journeys have become subtle and interdependent.

So, businesses have impatient customers and complex communication channels. But design thinking can help, it can articulate an offer and help guide consumers. Building trust and loyalty.

However, rather than asking “what do customers want?” designers ask what we want a customer to think, feel and do. Anticipating their needs. How something should work, how it makes them feel and the value society attaches to it.

The design process allows stakeholders to explore concepts and test with consumers. Generating new ideas and perspectives. Good design can champion change, shift behaviour and deliver satisfying experiences.

Being able to visualise an ambition is why design thinking has become valuable to businesses. Taking a problem-solving approach. Focusing on users’ needs and motivation whilst offering a framework to plan phases of development. In the race to constantly innovate and improve, design thinking opens up opportunity. It’s at the heart of a digital economy, driving change and attempting to stay one step ahead of what customers really want.

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