Dec. 21, 2015 | InBrief

Harness your customer's voice for product (re)design

Harness your customer's voice for product (re)design

Utilize voice of the customer (VoC) to drive customer feedback insights into action

“I wish I could zoom in on this photo.”

“I want to be able save this article to read later.”

“I hate that I can’t access this site easily on my phone when I’m commuting.”

“It’s more important to me to be able to find what I’m looking for - fast.”

“It’s such a pain to enter my payment information each time I buy something.”

What if you could sit down and have a conversation with your customers on your product?

What if you listened and acted upon it?

Few companies include customers in the product design (and in many cases, redesign) process. Yet, customer evangelists and the detractors alike want to share their ideas with organizations. This insight gap results in products like the Segway and Amazon Fire Phone that miss the mark and result in deeply disappointed customers, or in some cases, no customers at all. Product (re)design is a resource-intensive, expensive, and time consuming initiative for companies. But if organizations learn how to harness customers’ voices within the process, the product can meet and surpass customer stated and unstated needs in a more impactful way.

Simply look at Salesforce’s IdeaExchange. User community members have the ability to both submit innovation ideas and vote others’ ideas up and down for Salesforce to review. With over 500 ideas currently on the board, users are driving and prioritizing updates to the platform before Salesforce’s very eyes.

There are many ways to collect and use feedback. Consider utilizing the following voice of the customer (VoC) listening techniques and methods to understand and act upon the feedback of your customers:

  • Surveys: Collect customers’ advice through design surveys with quantitative and qualitative questions. Ask questions that will assist design considerations: What functionality do you prioritize? What is your least favorite part of the product today? What features are most important to you? Ensure responses can support design decisions and build rationale when features must be prioritized.
  • Interviews and Focus Groups: Targeted interview and focus group conversations support a deeper understanding of customers’ emotional reactions to current usage, as well as insights into desired future usage. Interviews and focus groups can also create a collaborative environment for open brainstorming and knowledge sharing. With the ability to dive deeper on particular questions and ideas, organizations have the flexibility to gain deeper insights to customer ideas.
  • Webinars and Demonstrations: Webinars and demonstrations provide a formal platform for organizations to reveal prototyped features and functionality. These sessions also allow users to actually witness the product or particular components in action. With a facilitated feedback session to follow, users can provide reactions to the features and functionality built, so the company can iterate on the design further.
  • Customer Advisory Councils: Customer Advisory Councils provide dedicated users the opportunity to counsel organizations on product design decisions – this can include both brainstorming of design, as well as prioritization of features. These users are often selected due to their level of engagement with the specific product or organization as a whole.  With great familiarity, these panel recommendations can be extremely effective within the (re)design process.

Companies have the opportunity to realize better product solutions, faster -- for less actual and opportunistic costs, while all the while they can also enhance customer satisfaction through true engagement.

So how are you going to harness your customers’ voices?

If you have any questions on how you can incorporate voice of the customer within your organization or within specific projects,please contact us.

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