Customer needs are defined as the influential factors that trigger them to buy your product or service. 76% of customers expect you to understand their needs. Your business ought to understand the need of your customer as it is vital to match the competitive marketplace. Broadly, customer needs are about delivering a better experience by exceeding their expectations. When you anticipate what your customers want, you can create content, expand your product features or services to meet those needs early. One way to identify your customer needs is the use of  a Focus Group.

How To Identify Your Customer Needs

A focus group is a group of people who have been carefully chosen to take part in a facilitated discussion to gather consumer perceptions on a specific topic or area of interest. Focus groups for market research are moderated interviews with a target audience that are guided by facilitators. A focus group’s participants are chosen based on a set of specific requirements, such as age, socioeconomic status, race, and other factors. You must first determine the goal of discussion and location to use for a focus group interview. It’s much easier to select individuals who are competent to take part in the market survey when the purpose is well defined. Focus group discussions should take place in a welcoming and non-threatening environment.

The Different Types of Focus Group

Two-way focus group

This strategy entails running two focus groups at the same time, each with its moderator. The first group investigates a specific issue, while the second group watches and comments on the first group’s interactions. The group gets more detailed input and compares various points of view. It also permits the watching group to come to their judgments on the first group’s points. This strategy can acquire in-depth knowledge in B2B focus groups.

Dual-moderator focus group

Two moderators are in charge of the focus group. The first moderator ensures that the session runs smoothly and all participants are involved. The second moderator ensures that all the issues mentioned have been covered. The first moderator asks the questions, while the second checks that they are answered. This strategy can be used when the topics are mainly technical and specific.

Dueling-moderator focus group

The moderators voluntarily take conflicting stances and perspectives on the matter at hand in this context. Participants interact with one another in this manner, considering a variety of viewpoints. The goal is to challenge participants’ thinking and confront their beliefs to reach more thorough findings. This strategy is used when you want to compare two ideas or business models. 

Respondent-moderator focus group

One of the focus group participants serves as a moderator for a period. Several people can take turns being the moderator, or one person might be chosen as the moderator. This method encourages participants to change their interactions and responses. The accidental bias that can emerge from a single moderator is reduced in this group. This type of group promotes diverse elements and perspectives among participants.

Client-centered focus group

One or more clients participate in the focus group. This enables observation of consumers’ interactions with the rest of the group and on the topics discussed. 

Mini focus group

This group comprises 4 to 5 participants, unlike traditional focus groups that usually have 6 to 12 individuals. Mini focus groups create an intimate environment in which respondents are more likely to share personal information. This type of group is good for discussing difficult topics. E.g. Domestic violence, rape, gender inequality.

Creativity focus group

The goal of this group is to flesh out a concept for a new product. Different respondents are brought in to take part in the discussion. A moderator is present to ensure a smooth brainstorming session. This strategy is linked to design thinking, tailored to the development of new products and services. 

Remote Focus Group

These types of groups are held remotely. Participants communicate virtually with the aid of the internet. The two types of remote focus groups are ;

Teleconference focus groups and video conference groups. Teleconference focus groups take place over the phone. It helps to decrease unwanted biases and protect the participants’ identities if the debate is about sensitive topics. Videoconference focus groups are held on video calls. Tools like google meet, Skype, and Zoom are used to conduct video conferences, focus groups.

If you have used focus groups to identify your customer needs before, we would love to hear from you. kindly share your experience with us in the comment section.