Right after the honest evaluation of who your customer is, figuring out their root needs is an essential step.  My assessment, lots of organizations don’t have a clue about connecting with the customer they claim to be interested in reaching.  How to fix that issue?  Well, you could just go on with business as usual.  Or you could follow these six steps (from
The Power of Alignment
, p. 121):

  1. Ask customers what they care about most in terms of your products and services and the way you provide them.
  2. Ask customers to prioritize those "care-abouts."
  3. Ask customers to be define those care-abouts as specifically as possible.
  4. Continue these questions until the root needs are reached.
  5. Ask customers to rank each root need.
  6. Identify opportunities for improvement.
Identifying Your Customer’s Root Needs