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Be a customer

One of the best ways to know what your customers want is to be a customer yourself. Look from the outside in, and identify with the customer's lives and expectations, so you can meet those expectations. If you create a product that you, yourself, want, need, and would buy if someone else created it, you will be able to engage customers better, and make the changes that are needed for improvement and growth.

Consider the following:
1. Do you have a need in your life that is not being fulfilled? This is an opportunity for you to create a product or service that many people probably need. When you have a business, it is important to create products and services that there is a need for, and a space for.

2. How could you improve upon an existing product or service? Sometimes there are existing products that could meet your needs, and you could be a customer of, but what ways do they need improvement? Sometimes they are too expensive, or are missing something that is vital to you, are not as convenient as you would like, or not available easily, etc. There are always ways existing products and services could be improved on, it is finding a change that inspires others. In other words, making something just a little different won't help you gain market share, but changing it enough to make it more convenient, significantly cheaper, or easier to use, etc. can all motivate customers.

3. Show authenticity, this is a powerful tool for engaging customers. One of the best things about being a customer is that you are far more authentic with your customers, and more easily able to engage them because you are in the same position as them. A mom with kids is going to find it easier to sell to a mom with kids because she understands what they are going through. Whereas a teenager, or business man bachelor may have a harder time being empathetic to the challenges that face the life of the customer. Being your own customer means understanding the needs, challenges, etc. of the customer, and better being able to meet them.

4. Remain true to your experience, convictions, and instincts. Data can help you see how other people feel, what they are experiencing, etc. but data can't replace experience, conviction, and instinct, you have to stick to what you know is true, and you will find that you are not alone.

5. If it doesn't meet your needs, why should it meet someone else's? Remember that if you can't please yourself, or meet your own needs, then chances are you won't be able to do it for anyone else either. Being your own customer helps you see when your product or service is no longer relevant, needs an update, a change, or a fresh twist.

Being your own customer helps you understand your customers, which helps you overcome many challenges.

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