20 Common Types of Customer Requirements

Customers have needs and requirements. A customer need establishes the relationship between the organization and the customer (example: I need (or want) an iPad). Requirements are those characteristics that determine whether or not the customer is happy. (Examples: a requirement is that the iPad is user-friendly, has to be fast in data storage and retrieval, etc.)

There are other requirements such as light-weight, long battery life and so forth. What we’re talking about here though with Six Sigma is things that you can measure on a continuous scale. You can measure user-friendliness on a Likert scale. You can measure the download/upload in megabits per second or load times in fractions of seconds. The fact that the iPad is lightweight is just a feature that doesn’t change and it isn’t something that you would really measure to make improvements.

Broken down into simple terms, customer requirements are what motivate consumers to purchase a product or service. By and large, this is driven by a set of needs, including product functionality, price, reliability, and convenience.

ENGN2225 OC – Customer Requirements

What are customer requirements?

Customer requirements refer to the specifications or features of a product or service that are deemed necessary by customers. These requirements motivate customers to buy a product or service. To determine customer requirements, companies can research their target market to understand their desires and needs. They can also take a more direct approach by asking their customers for feedback through polls, surveys or social media.

20 types of customer requirements

Customers requirements vary based on the products or services sold by a company. Companies can combine various requirements to ensure that they meet as many of the customers needs or desires as possible. Here is a list of 20 examples of customer requirements:

Price

The price of a product or service can affect customers purchasing decisions, as each customer has unique budget allowances or constraints. They may compare prices between competitors to determine which offers the best deal or decide whether they are willing to pay for quality versus convenience. Companies must understand their customers to set the right price or discounts. However, these companies must also price their product or services high enough to ensure they make money.

For example, a haircare company might offer a bundle of three products for a discount. While the customer saves money because the bundle costs less than buying products separately, the company increases its revenue because the value of their purchase ends up being larger.

Quality

The quality of a product or the materials used to manufacture it can impact purchasing decisions. The definition of quality can vary but may refer to its durability. A customer may consider a high-quality product to be one that lasts a significant amount of time, rather than one that breaks easily.

Quality can also depend on the customers preferences. For example, they may prefer buying organic foods because they believe those foods have benefits that create a higher quality product. Similarly, a customer may want to purchase a sweater made out of a natural fiber such as cashmere rather than a synthetic material like polyester. Both options serve the same function, but the customer has a particular opinion on which materials provide more quality.

Functionality

Every product or service has a purpose, which is its function. Often, customers require products and services that solve specific problems or meet specific goals or desires. For example, a customer may want to purchase a couch that they not only can sit on but can also convert into a bed for sleeping. Functional requirements are an essential component of software development—these requirements define what the system does. If a company creates an app, they want to ensure that it accomplishes the tasks desired by customers. For example, the user can click a button to start watching a video.

Reliability

When customers purchase something, they want the ability to rely on it to perform its intended function. Along with reliability, customers seek durability. They expect that the product or service will last a reasonable lifespan or throughout continued use. Companies looking to provide reliability often need to test their products and services to ensure they can withstand potential challenges. For example, when a customer purchases a car, they expect they can drive it often and in all types of weather. Therefore, car manufacturers perform tests to ensure their models can handle varying temperatures and road conditions.

Performance

Customers not only require that a product or service performs its intended purpose but also that it does it well. The definition of good performance varies, but examples may include its speed or accuracy when conducting tasks. Customers also purchase products specifically to improve the performance of another product. For example, a person who plays video games on their computer can buy a new graphics card to enable higher video quality.

Sustainability

Some customers seek products that do not have negative environmental impacts. In response, companies launch products that use less energy to manufacture or recycled materials. Or they may sell products that promote sustainability. For example, car manufacturers sell hybrid or electric models that can help reduce pollution. Another company might notice customers call for sustainability and begin selling glass straws, which provides a reusable alternative to plastic straws.

Transparency

Customers require transparency, which means they want to know what to expect when purchasing a product or service. To enable transparency, companies must avoid hiding information, such as fees or ingredients, when promoting their offerings. One way to promote transparency is through direct communication, such as companies that use social media to inform customers about any service outages. Enabling customers to publish online product reviews is another form of transparency. Establishing transparency can be an advantage for companies because it creates trust, which can lead to other benefits such as customer loyalty.

Convenience

Customers seek products and services that can save them time and effort. Companies can meet these requirements by understanding how customers use their offerings and determine ways to make them even easier to use. Some, for example, provide convenience by offering same-day delivery. By giving customers the ability to make a purchase online and have it delivered to their home, it saves them the time and effort of having to go to the store, find the item and transport it home.

Efficiency

Somewhat similar to convenience, customers seek products or services that can help streamline everyday processes. For example, the checkout line at a store can become a time-consuming aspect of shopping. Some stores implement self-service stations, allowing customers to bypass the traditional lines and quickly pay for their items. Another option is the use of apps that let customers pay directly from their phones. Similarly, this can speed up the payment process because customers only need to pull out their phones rather than go into their wallet and find cash or a credit card.

Risk reduction

When making purchases, some customers consider risk—for example, they want to ensure that they will not lose money. To ease such concerns, many companies offer and promote return or guarantee policies. These policies may help attract customers and make them feel more comfortable making a purchase. For example, a shoe company might provide customers a 30-day window to try their purchase. If the customer determines they do not like the shoes, they can return the product and receive their money back.

Safety

Safety can be an important consideration for customers, as they want to ensure the product does not cause harm to them or those around them. Companies can promote products by confirming they meet relevant safety regulations or standards. For example, a person might buy a particular car based on how well it performs in crash tests. Or a parent purchasing a toy for their young child looks at features to assess whether their children can play with it safely—for example, they want a toy that does not have sharp edges or small pieces that pose a choking hazard.

Compatibility

When customers require compatibility, they want the product or service to work or integrate with another one. Often, they want to ensure compatibility with something that they already have access to or own. Companies often include compatibility details to help customers make purchasing decisions. For example, a company that sells memory cards provides a chart or list that tells customers which of its memory cards are compatible with specific models of digital cameras.

Options

Every customer is unique, so they require options when making purchases. Multiple options allow companies to meet the needs of various customers rather than one specific type. For example, an apparel company offers a t-shirt style in a variety of colors and patterns for customers to choose from. Streaming services often offer multiple subscription plans that vary in price, with some offering ad-free or higher video quality features. With these options, customers weigh the cost of the service versus getting additional features.

Control

Customers may seek control when interacting with a service or making a purchase. Control can sometimes overlap with the options requirement, as multiple options allow customers to control which subscription plan they purchase from a company, for example. Companies can also provide control to their customers by enabling them to customize their purchases. For example, a shoe company may offer a fully customizable style of shoes. Customers can choose from a variety of colors, patterns and other features to create a unique product that suits their preferences.

Experience

Defining what constitutes a positive customer experience will vary on the company and its offerings, so customer research is essential. Generally, a positive experience refers to products or services that are easy to understand and use. The customer experience is crucial when developing software or websites, for example. Users must have the ability to easily navigate the website to achieve their goals, such as purchase a product or find an article to read.

Design

Design can often serve as an umbrella for other requirements, such as experience or accessibility. Design may refer to ease of use—for example, a collapsible umbrella might be more attractive to customers because it takes up less space and is easier to carry. Appearance can also play a critical role in design requirements. If a customer finds a website visually appealing, for example, it can make them more likely to continue visiting and using it.

Accessibility

Customers require products and services that enable easy access. For example, a banking institution can provide a mobile app that allows customers to access their accounts from anywhere. Accessibility also refers to products and services that people of all abilities can use. For example, a website that hosts videos can provide captions for deaf users, or a company that sells kitchen tools can offer utensils with unique grips for customers who have arthritis. Taking steps to increase the accessibility of their produces and services can help companies meet the needs of as many potential customers as possible.

Privacy

A common customer requirement when purchasing or using services is privacy. When creating an account, for example, customers may want to ensure that the company does not sell their data to external parties. Companies often provide terms and conditions to inform customers of how their data will or will not be used. To meet customers requirements, some companies may even promote their commitment to privacy or provide additional privacy options. For example, a social media site may allow its users to disable the use of personalized ads.

Empathy

Customers want to feel that companies care about and understand their needs. This requirement is essential in customer service, as customers need to speak to someone about their questions or concerns. Companies can also demonstrate empathy through charitable initiatives. For example, a shoe company may offer a promotion in which customers can purchase shoes, and the company will then donate a pair to someone in need or use a portion of sales to make a donation. These initiatives demonstrate that the company understands the needs of its community and wants to provide support.

Information

Customers want to make informed decisions, so companies must provide relevant or necessary information as guidance. The type of information varies but may consist of details such as product specifications or usage instructions. Readily available information can persuade customers to purchase something because they have a clear understanding of the product and whether it suits their needs. For example, an apparel company can include sizing charts and images on their website, helping customers decide which size to purchase when they cannot try on the clothes.

FAQ

What are the types of customer requirements?

The Kano model addresses the three types of requirements:
  • Dissatisfiers (Must Haves): These are the basic requirements expected by your customer. …
  • Satisfiers (Performance): More is better, at least up to a point. …
  • Delighters (WOW): These generate real excitement and are usually not even in the mind of your customer.

What are the 3 levels of customer requirements?

Ultimately, all customer needs can be categorized into three main types: functional, social, and emotional needs.

What are the 4 main customer needs?

The categories are Must-be, Primary Satisfiers, and Delighters. This classification is called a KANO Analysis. A must-be requirement can dissatisfy, but cannot increase satisfaction. It is a basic requirement of the customer; they will not do business without it.

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