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What if the customer can't define his needs?

What if the customer can't define his needs? Topic: What if the customer can't define his needs?
June 16, 2019 / By Cyrilla
Question: I have this situation now, in corporate environment. The customer can not really define what he wants. If I asked the customer what are the requirements or what the outcomes should be, he would start to propose a solution which indeed can't really solve the problem if not defined. . I am trying to listen to the customer and fish for the problem. Indeed, without defining the problem, I can't offer a solution. . I would compare this to a situation when a man sees a tailor and wants a suit. The tailor would ask him about the purpose but the man would say: I want a black one. Then the tailor would say: ok, we can do that, but how about the purpose? The man would say: I want longer shirts on it and thick collar. The customer just would not listen to the tailor and will end up either looking like idiot in an improper suit or having the suit resewing for big bucks. . How to help the customer define his requirements?
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Best Answers: What if the customer can't define his needs?

Bijou Bijou | 5 days ago
In my humble opinion: It helps if we make an effort to first understanding the customer. We need to rephrase certain questions and dig deeper into the customer's mind. Here is one more example on a personal level that we can all relate to. I was driving down with my wife and we drove by an ice cream store. She looked over and asked me, “Honey, would you like some ice cream?” I said, “No” and kept on driving. Now, most of you realize that she wasn’t really asking me if I wanted ice cream. What she meant was that she wanted ice cream. What she was thinking was, “Honey, I want some ice cream, and I don’t care if you want some. Just pull over and let me get some ice cream.” Using your analogy of the tailor, the man went to the tailor to get clothes to make him look good presumably for an event. The tailor might want to ask what kind of event does the customer wants to attend ? Is it a dinner party, or an informal gathering ? Does he want to look tall, casual or sophisticated ? Perhaps he needs an introduction like, this suit will make you look like a banker, or this Armani suit looks really classy on you. There is no textbook answer. All I can say is that different strokes for different folks. It is to my limited knowledge that we need to first understand the customer, a little bit of his personality, his traits, his likes/dislikes, on achieving some success in this direction, we can thus help the customer better define his needs.
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Bijou Originally Answered: How Do You Define Sin?
My definition: Sin is that thought, word or deed committed with the conscious intent of causing harm to God, to another being or to self. Thus when one is instructed on what thoughts, words and deeds DO cause said harm and then thinks, says or does it anyway one has sinned. Most of the time what is considered sinful is determined by a culture and its beliefs, its customs and its rituals. The earliest form such instruction took was the Code of Hammurabi. The Forty Questions of the Egyptian Judges of the Dead also rule along those lines. And of course, there's the Ten Commandments, in our culture the most familiar and well-known. For those of curious bent, studying these Commandments and meditating on the possible consequences of breaking those rules will speedily convince all but the most stiff-necked that they are indeed a clear guide to positive results for the obedient and those around them. For those who have not the time nor the inclination to undertake said study, then simple obedience will produce the same positive result, ie, growth into a finer, better example of a human being. As for avoidance, it may not be possible to always avoid committing a sinful act, speaking a sinful word, or thinking a sinful thought, but then that is why Christ died for us. To allow us a means to avoid the consequences of such actions. Why can't we always avoid sinful acts even when we know what they are and are trying to avoid them? Ah... the perils of free will alligned with haste and/or negative emotionalism. A pit into which we all fall with disturbing regularity.
Bijou Originally Answered: How Do You Define Sin?
The original definition of sin was actually "missing the mark"...much like when you are shooting a bow and arrow and miss your target. That is what I believe sin is. God gave us our conscience, which allows us to differentiate between what is right and wrong. When we do something that is against our conscience and violate our moral code it is sin. There is actually a verse in the Bible...that talks about what is a sin to one person might not be a sin to another. For example, if I enjoy watching horror movies, I don't feel bad about it, it doesn't disturb me in anyway...but you on the other hand feel totally convicted for watching a horror movie, it makes you feel bad, you feel as though you disappoint God by watching it...that makes it a sin for you, but not for me. This doesn't work for everything, the Bible doesn't say watching horror movies is unacceptable, whereas it condemns sexual promiscuity, murder, stealing...just because you don't feel bad about those things doesn't mean they are acceptable...but in certain circumstances what is a sin for some might not be a sin for another.

Ailith Ailith
If you are the analyst who has been brought in to solve a problem, the problem has to be explained to the analyst. The analyst who is experienced will draw from the executive just what the problem is and why he has been called. That is the start. If this does not occur it is time to walk for neither of you will benefit.This is from personal experience as a manufacturing finance and operations consultant. The boss wanted ' things to be better ". I found ways to make things better and had the blessing of the boss's floor managers. Also found that payrolls for some individuals were being kited. Boss took no interest. Some collusion? Doesn't take a rocket science to figure some personal interplay was happening. Knowledge and experience can lead the way to a specific solution to an existing problem.
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Tolly Tolly
Start by understanding the business processes. If you run small groups of employees by business process you will see the "problems"...it is then up to you to offer a solution..but phrase it in terms of completing a business process more efficiently, less time, fewer errors. Many times executives won't have a clue, as they don't understand all the steps of even their own business processes. You have to get to the department level....and many departments as processes cross departments. Focus on the top two or three processes, those that either are tied to money, or visibility internally or externally. Do not ever expect a customer to define what they "want"...they look to you for the solution. They need to help you "hear" what the problem is, then you "diagnose" it and offer a solution...hopefully a prototype, as they need to "see it" or they will not understand. (retired IBM exec mgr/consulting/research...professor)
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Tolly Originally Answered: What is art? How would you define art?
It's an excellent question, and of course is much more than painting, drawing, photography, etc. IMO, art is simply the expression of an idea or experience (see "Qualia") through creative analogies. Using this definition, many things could be considered art, so long as those things are being used as vessels to convey whatever "it" is you are trying to say. Eating can be used as performance art (again, depending on what you are trying to say by displaying the action of eating). For example, perhaps your subject is your dislike of American consumerism. You could sit down in a crowded mall somewhere in America, fervently stuffing your face with hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, soda, beer, etc until you projectile vomit, and then continue eating until you vomit again, and then again, and so...causing a public scene. That would make a fairly dramatic statement about you feel regarding the subject, and is something that could easily be considered performance art in the artistic community (lol, not that I do, it just popped in my head) The same could go with sleeping. In fact, much of my own art deals with lucid dreaming, and the play between consciousness and unconsciousness. In reality, you can use just about thing as an analogy, which means art can be just about anything...if executed in a "creative" way that gets a point across. Another example, see Tom Friedman's "1000 hours of stare". It's a blank sheet of paper Tom stared at for 1000 hours. To someone without a fairly decent background in Art, or even Tom Friedman as an artist, this may seem ridiculous. But, when you delve into the conceptual complexities behind WHY Tom did this, you begin to recognize it as an ingeniously simple expression of who Tom is.

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