Why we should care about needs

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We talk a lot about understanding customers’ needs and students’ needs. But how much do we really want to know?

Whether it comes out of a positive or negative situation, a need indicates an opportunity. If I’m having a bad time with a product or a service, I need it to be better. And if I’m having a good time, I may well feel the need to share my experience with someone.

But too often, decisions are taken to satisfy needs without making a genuine attempt to find out whether we really understand the needs. This may be because we think we do understand, or simply because it’s easier than taking the time to verify our understanding.

We are all hugely valuable sources of information and experience. Creating opportunities for meaningful engagement around needs provides valuable feedback that can challenge our underlying beliefs and assumptions.

It can also help us adapt what we’re doing to better meet the needs of our customers or students.

Thanks to Tim Kitchener and Carl Lyon for the inspiration behind this post.

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