Create a hierarchy of customer needs in 5 simple steps
Customer Value Frameworks for Supermarket Retail – Part 2 of 3
Supermarket competition has always been fierce, and the arrival of new, younger brands has shaken things up even further. A robust set of customer-centred strategic principles is crucial to helping you stand out, build loyalty and drive growth. Four models in particular have proved so useful, that together, they form our Customer Value Framework. This series of three articles looks at how you can use these to set the groundwork for change.
By Amanda Salter
Build from the roots up to provide experiences that are grounded in success.
A recent study highlighted that 89% of organisations will compete on customer experience in 2016. This shows it’s more crucial than ever to get yours right. Not just in terms of the experiences you offer, but also in the sequence you present them to your customers.
It’s easy to get lost in the sheer volume of customer experience initiatives available. So before you jump in at the deep end, take a look at the model below. This is an extension of Maslow’s classic ‘Hierarchy of needs’ model – and the concept is the same: You need to deliver on the lower levels before your customer will be ready to accept the next step.
How to establish your hierarchy of needs:
1. Get the basics right
The lowest level is always about getting your foundations right, in other words, dealing with the hygiene factors of a supermarket business. This means avoiding common mistakes, addressing complaints and fulfilling basic customer expectations. Always focus here first, even if it takes up most of your effort and budget. You need to get this spot on before you can move on.
2. Build on the basics
Once you have a stable basis, you can then start looking at what makes a difference for your customers at the next level. It’s useful to have a view of what each of these levels is for YOUR business and YOUR customers.
3. Choose your levels wisely
Your levels need to reflect your customer needs and be driven by what matters most to your customers, right now. As already mentioned, the bottom level is your basic requirements (in our example, reliable). The higher up levels could be things like: Convenience, Personalisation, Inspiration, Community presence, Deeper insights, or Rewards. Once you’ve established what’s right for your customers and business, you need to prioritise your levels and use them to fuel your strategy and initiatives.
4. Stick to your hierarchy
You’ve got your hierarchy, now you need to make sure you follow it. There’s no point delivering loads of customer initiatives at level 4 if you haven’t properly addressed the issues at level 3. Your customers won’t be ready to accept level 4 before you’ve delivered on level 3.
5. Be flexible
Be prepared to change your hierarchy of needs as customer expectations change. Things that are differentiators today are likely to become basic expectations at some point soon. A few years ago, being a multichannel supermarket was a differentiator and could have featured in hierarchies of need at the time – now it’s just a basic hygiene factor.
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Other articles in the series:
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