Why Do You Need To ‘Think Like a Customer’ For The Growth Of Your Business?

The foundational belief of design and design thinking is that we are not designing for us but in the best interest of others. We need to look at the problem from the user’s point of view and need to put ourselves in their shoes. There is no ‘I’ ‘Me’ in the designer’s dictionary. Their life is our life and we need to live like them.

“The one secret of success lies in the ability to get the other person’s view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own” -Henry Ford.

To design a car, a designer would not focus on Gear assembly, suspension, engine, steering, but would think like a user -Imagine, I’m a 40-year-old lady — How would I feel while taking steep curves, how would I feel when driving the car over a rough terrain, how pleased I would feel while driving, what would be my buying experience.

“The design of a product is not about the features or about the technicalities, but about the experience, the emotional feeling we could provide to a user. “.

We may be designing a product that doesn’t breathe, but we are going to sell the product to a soulful person, who is intellectual, emotionally, physically and psychologically alive.

If you want to sell your product or service to your customers, you need to help them, support them. You need to know what they want first.

The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want — Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie mentions an example — What do we do to catch fish when we go fishing? Do we think about what would entice or seduce the fish? We think from the fish’s perspective — so we dangle a worm in front of the fish as bait. It’s not about you, It’s about what fish wants. Somehow many of us fail to translate this learning into our business and our life.

-If my daughter is not taking food, I tell her that she would not get the energy to dance. She likes dancing, she wants to dance. I use her interest in dancing as a bait to make her eat the food. (It’s not about what I want, It’s about what she wants, what are her needs and desires).

-If you are talking and writing about you, your skills, your product, your services, your blog, your brand, people would ignore you and see you as a self-centred guy. If you want people to read your blog, give them a good reason to read — Are you the guy who would share valuable information, relevant business knowledge, life skills, trends? In other words, the benefit/value a person would get in reading your blog. So, the blog is not about you, but about the benefits to your readers. If you do this, you would soon get plenty of attention, love, and respect.

If you care for people, people would care for your product.

And the first thing a fish has to see is ‘The Bait” — The benefit — Yes, User has to first see the benefit from any product or service’s communication. If it is relevant, then he would show further interest to read/know/understand further.

Recently I came across a product brochure — The first page had a collage of images with some arrows indicating or trying to say something(User’s rarely like to add cognitive load to their brain, at least to begin with) — with the words Development, Planning, Production(Unless you concentrate for some time, you would not understand what the brochure is about) — all the content and images were about the company but not explicitly mentioned, on the second page — Company’s profile and history mentioned in detail, on the third page — the company’s capabilities, design team strength, skills were covered and only on the fourth page, they have mentioned the benefits. They have described everything visually, except for the benefits. Benefits were bullet-pointed with text and we need to focus both of our minds to read that content. Not the ideal way to grab attention. Start the content with what your customers need. If You want to impress somebody, You have to first start talking about what they like. It’s not about us, It’s about them.

Every day, we receive so many emails. All have limited time to spend on emails. Most of us just glance at the email headers. It is important for a sales guy to make the mail content to grab the attention within those valuable few seconds. Those few seconds should not be wasted on talking about us or our company or our product. Focus on the Bait — The Benefits.

I have copy pasted a sample email which we receive every day — Most of the mailers have no idea what would be the needs of a person who receives this email, what problems he would be facing.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Good Afternoon, This is BBB, Working With YYY Engineering. (Do you remember the person’s name and company name in any of the marketing email you have received? You would have skipped these lines)

I would like to introduce YYY Engineering to your company. (Why would I want to know? When people lack time, it is important to communicate the benefits first and make it as short as possible)

We are the authorized distributor for surge suppression Protection Diodes & modules, connectors, LCD’s, MOSFETS etc from U.S, Taiwan, China. (Am I interested in this?)

We are supplying Electronic components to Many OEMs like HP, Pricol, Honeywell, Essae, Minda, Alcatel, CISCO networks, Tejas Networks, Juniper Networks, LG, etc. (What should I do with this?)

please go through our Product line card and send us your valuable query to us. (Now, they are asking me to do some work over the reading of this email)

we will provide you with the highly reliable, cost-effective, competitive price with less lead Time Components for your company. (The benefits are at the end — Even then, these are not the real benefits which would pull a user to read your email)

Thank you so much

Nobody cares about you or your product. Everyone cares about themselves.

One water heater manufacturer advertised — “The only water heater with ISI mark and porcelain enamel tanks”

Another water heater manufacturer says — “From an International Brand(So?). Get the water with a single button”

One more manufacturer, “Fit and Forget it” -ok. “U.S patented twice the corrosion resistance”

One water purifier manufacturer explains the purification process for 20 seconds out of 30 seconds video. (how many people would remember this purification process?)

The truth — Most of them do not care about your How? Your methodologies, Your patented processes, your proprietary technology. Everybody is concerned about them — He or she has to understand WHY(not HOW) he or she needs this product first.

These days, it is extremely getting futile to talk about our product’s capabilities, strengths, advantages. We have to think from a user’s perspective and reverse the communication — Good business communication is about the ultimate benefits — How our product would offer emotional relief from one or more of the problems the users face, what emotional rewards the customers would gain, how it would remove the perceived obstacles, barriers for customers and help them in achieving their goals, how it would provide a new meaning to the life of users, how much happiness it would provide to them. It’s not about us, It’s about them.

People who can put themselves in the shoes of other people, who can understand the user’s minds, need not worry about the future.

Written by

Secular Humanist, Business Growth Consultant, Design Thinker, India. Reach me at mmshah8@gmail.com. or https://www.shahmohammed.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store