Customer Requirements - Meaning, Importance, Types & Example

Published in Marketing and Strategy Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Customer Requirements?

Customer Requirements are the certain specific expectations of product features or characteristics with expected quality and value that should be present in a product for it to be deemed useful and desirable by the customer. These are evolving expectations which will never be same and keep evolving with changing times, generations, technology and trends.

Importance of Customer Requirements

Customer requirements are the parameters for which every product or service is designed to fulfil. These requirements form the basis of product design and launch. If these requirements are not met, customer will surely not buy the product and even if the product was bought, the repeat business would not happen. Customer requirements are similar to needs but more specific, real and achievable. 

Customer requirements need to be properly documented and refined to make sure that the final product has all the features expected.

customer requirements should be well prioritized and added to products whenever possible. Consumer behavior keeps changing and so the requirements would also change. in early days, an air conditioner was just supposed to provide cool or warm air and rest was all add on features but today every one expects a remote control, temperature control, purified air, multiple modes etc. Over the time requirements keep evolving and hence a manufacturer needs to document and prioritize them properly.

Types of Customer Requirements

There can be two types of customer requirements:

Tangible Functional Requirements

These are mostly the tangible characteristics, features or specifications that a consumer expects to be fulfilled in the product. If a consumer is availing a service as a product, then various service requirements can take the form of output requirements. For example, if the consumer is hailing a metro cab, then on-time arrival becomes an output requirement. For other products such as gadgets, the product specifications like the loudness and clarity of a pair of speakers becomes its output requirements.

Intangible Requirements

Intangible aspects of purchasing a product that a customer expects to be fulfilled. It consists of elements like on-time delivery, service with a smile, easy-payment etc. It encompasses all aspects of how a customer expects to be treated while purchasing a product and how smooth his buying process goes. If a customer buys an AC, he/she expects the company to support after purchase in installation and setup seamlessly.

Different Levels of Customer Requirements

The levels of requirements are very dynamic. These levels would keep changing with time and customer behavior. A requirement at one level can change the level as per market trends and competitive landscape.

There are 3 levels of customer requirements:

Must Haves or Expected

These are the functional requirements without which the customer will not accept the product. if fulfilled customers will be not show any exceptional appreciation but if not fulfilled, the customer will show dissatisfaction. The customers do not explicitly express their desire for these but expect it to be understood. For example, a washroom in a restaurant; the customer will feel that it is imperative to have a washroom in a decent restaurant where families or people from business organizations come to dine.

Good to have or Satisfiers

There are the requirements that customers express their desire for, explicitly. If you offer better or more of these satisfiers, then the customers will appreciate it more and will be more satisfied. For example, the assortment of desserts in a buffet; the customers might feel that they’re entitled to at least two as they’ve paid heavily for the buffet and will be happier if they get four.

Beyond Expectation or Delighters

These are the extras features which may or may not be expected by the customer. Absence of these will not leave the customer dissatisfied. In fact, the absence of these characteristics might not even be noticed. But adding these would increase the customer’s satisfaction greatly and will leave them delighted. For example, you order a-la-carte in a restaurant and get complimentary drink. The requirements which are delighters today may become must haves in few years.

Customer Requirements Examples

A good example can be taken from the software industry where the software is made as per customer requirement. A customer may ask for food delivery app and list the requirements to the developers like ability to order, ability to show list of restaurants and menu, ability to make payment and ability to track the delivery. These are tangible requirements and must haves but a good product will have lot of intangibles and delighters like ability to see real time location, multiple payment options, loyalty, ability to schedule orders and many more.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Customer Requirements along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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