Bringing in customers is a proven asset for any business looking to develop their brand, status and production. Even in terms of differentiation, the customer’s experience of a brand can work wonders for positive uniquified business concepts. Leading businesses with a maintained frame of growth all have one shared focus – a deep, thorough understanding of end users’ needs. These brands form lasting connections with customers and innovate around their yet to be announced desires by improving their customer orientation skills.
At WeZimplify, we believe that since customers and users are the people who ensure that your business withstands all competition, they should always be the preferred expert on market response and potential CX outcomes. The truth is, customer innovation has become an essential strategy for corporate survival, and with Covid-19 roaming the earth, this truth has never before been as important as it is today.
If you are looking to incorporate customers to your innovation strategies or have questions about driving development through enhanced customer orientation skills, reach out to us today!
Do you Possess Customer Orientation Skills?
Superiority and success in business are increasingly about customer-centric organisational behaviours and skills. By forging strong customer connections and insight, brands can develop superior ways of communicating their value propositions and ultimately deliver a faultless and satisfying customer experience.
While businesses should always focus on what lies ahead in demand and understand that what customers think they want is not necessarily always their true desire, their insights should always be at the heart of your innovation. Bringing in their thoughts and observations is a great way for businesses to analyse and discover new insights that are valuable to novel concept ideas. Being attentive to what the market will support, however important it may be, should come second to a focus on what your customers want and what concepts could ease their everyday life.
At WeZimplify, we urge businesses to ask themselves “Do we involve our customers in the development of our new offerings and innovations and thereby strengthen loyalty and success rate?” Or “should we be even better at doing things differently for the sake of our users and customers?” What we see in top corporations like Apple, Starbucks and Netflix is that they consider their business beyond their physical product. They are perpetuating the integration of customer satisfaction and bringing their observations into the innovation of future offerings.
Customer Innovation: 5 Easy Steps to improve your customer orientation skills?
At the heart of customer-driven development and innovation are five equally vital steps that need to be taken into account.
- Involve your customers early: Your customer should be encouraged to provide insight when an idea is erupting, and maybe even before that. Involving customers in the brainstorming phase is a strong way to attain prior relevance and recognition. Find out if co-creation in your business works best as firm-led or customer-led in order to successfully co-design an idea.
- Observe their insights and behaviours: Customer-centric innovation is not only about questionnaires or talking to a customer every now and then. A huge part of it involves ensuring corporate actions upon customers’ reactions to their products. Observing customers’ behaviour while they interact with your product lets you identify three powerful insights that lead to meaningful innovation: body language that gives away how the customer is feeling during the interaction, potential identified workarounds that facilitate use of your product, and user adaptations that bring new meaning to your product.
- Present your preliminary concept idea: After assembling a foundation of customer experiences and having observed your customers’ behaviours when interacting with your previous products or reacting to an idea, the next step is to transform your new insights into a concept idea. Once again, driving the concept idea through communication is about reaching out to the customer to establish a framework of feedback and constructive criticism. Customers’ opinions can be gathered easily through crowdsourcing in groups.
- Listen to and leverage customer feedback: Companies need to position their early product development cycle around the continual receiving of and response to customer feedback. All constructive insight should be addressed vigorously and seen as fuel for improved product concepts. While you know the product by heart in all its features and applications, being as close to the product as manufacturers and developers are, you will often find yourself blind to its imperfections. This is why it is so important to let the target audience interact with a prototype and concept idea. This also leaves the customer wanting more since they feel heard and appreciated and are convinced that the end product is worth it.
- Develop your concept idea accordingly: The next step is interpreting the feedback yielded and developing the existing idea concept accordingly. The aim is to incorporate sources of incremental insight strategies as a continuous and permanent part of the process. With attentive monitoring and response mechanisms in place, B2B companies can gain from this open dialogue as it can be looped back directly into concept initiatives.
The Three Hats of Customer-Driven Development
Let’s do a quick recap of what you know now. At this point, we are well aware of the intention of customer-driven development and the value of incorporating customer opinions and experiences. We have also gained knowledge of five easy and vital steps in the customer-driven innovation experience. Now, let’s dig a little deeper. Because another aspect of customer-centric innovation is comprehending what perspective and customer mindsets are needed, and using this judgement to decide which hat is needed during feedback group sessions:
Hat #1: Customer insights into products that have been distributed to the market. This hat focuses on attaining information about how customers perceive the use of already launched products, where insights can either lead to improved innovation of new modifications of the same product or the creation of a similar but better offer. Customer orientation skills will enable you to create a continuous flow of product feedback to benefit your next launch.
Hat #2: Customer insights into use of future features and products. This hat scours the market for novel needs that can be translated into actual innovative, fresh products. At WeZimplify, we call this gradual innovation: connecting innovation within an existing business area.
Hat #3: Exploring new business opportunities and areas. This hat looks beyond what the business is currently offering and focuses on examining novel or different industries in which the business can compete and create new meaning for customers. Here, the aim is to identify new growth paths or redefine the current market or channels. At WeZimplify, we call this evolutionary innovation: fusing new services or concept planning into the company’s existing business.
Convert Customer Insights into Successful Production
At WeZimplify, we help businesses match with experts within customer-driven development and innovation through the advancement of customer orientation skills. With our software and expertise, our focus is on:
- Offering professional supervision when getting started with WeZimplify software.
- Assisting in data collection from relevant customers and market experts.
- Providing a professional decision-making infrastructure for business and innovation.
- Providing original methods for inviting the perspectives of customers and product users.
- Professionally hiring customers as insight experts.
- Ensuring customer involvement in virtually all relevant areas of business and innovation.
- Helping businesses launch products that create the right value.
Does this sound like something that your business could benefit from? If so, contact us right away!