“Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it.” ― George Bernard Shaw, writer
If you can identify something customers need but don’t have, you’re on the path to growing your business. There’s no need to create a brand-new market – it’s often enough to improve an existing product or service and then market it better than the competition.
Take these four steps to explore opportunities to fulfill unmet needs.
1. Create a customer journey map
List the steps your typical customers take from discovering they have a problem or need to achieving a positive resolution. It’s important to list the steps from the customer’s perspective, to reveal what they go through to arrive at a solution.
2. Identify pain points
Next circle the pain points on your list. These are the steps that are messy, time consuming or challenging from the customer’s perspective.
3. Brainstorm solutions
Now for each pain point you identified, consider how you might reduce the pain for the customer. Think big and small – you might have an entire new way of doing things, or discover that providing a simple reminder on a timely basis is all it takes to improve the customer’s experience.\
4. Validate your thinking
Once you have one or more ideas to improve the customer journey, do some research to see if anyone else is already using similar ideas, whether there is a sufficient market for your idea and what customers think of your idea. Use the internet to search for services or products related to your idea. Look at your customer data to see if you can determine how big a potential market there might be for your idea. Lastly, consider reaching out to a few valued customers and asking if they would spend 10 minutes chatting with you about a potential new offering.
If you’re lucky, you may discover new customer needs without conducting your own research and exploration. Listen to what your customers say when they interact with you – their comments may spark an idea for a new service or product you can offer.
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About the author, PJ Weiland
As an ActionCOACH Business Coach from Chicago North Shore, I understand that time is your most valuable asset. Now, I can help you recreate your dreams and vision…and accomplish the goals you first set out to achieve with your business. Ultimately, you will experience a better quality of life because of your commitment to invest in yourself with the help of an ActionCOACH Business Coach and personal mentor.