Give them what they want and they’ll get what they expect

It’s supposed to make so much sense: just give the customers what they want.

Of course it’s not that simple. Let’s break down what all customers seem to want, what all customers do want, and what all customers really want.

A few no-brainers that customers say they always want:

Lower prices … the number one answer (but be careful: ironically, lower prices are not often seen as adding value by the customer)

Clean stores and restaurants

Adequate service


A few things customers want once they think about it:

Selection (but remember the Paradox of Choice)




What customers really want and will invest in:

Knowledge, leading to confident purchases (it’s all about defining value)

Loyalty, a feeling of being part of a tribe or club

Exceptional service, going above and beyond others

A clearly defined sense of purpose for shopping there as opposed to elsewhere (entertained, inspired, or educated … the grand trifecta)

“Giving customers what they want” is an okay place to start, but be careful to note if by doing so you are becoming complacent, duplicatable, and ultimately forgettable.

“Giving customers what they want” is ironically often best achieved by not even asking the customer for their opinion. 

If all you do is give the customer what they want, they will only get what they expect. Don’t fall into that trap.



Related Articles

Needs and Wants

There are things your customers need to know. There are other things they want to know. And there is a fundamental difference. NEEDS For a restaurant, your…