There is no feeling like the certainty that what you are introducing to a market is anticipated, appreciated and profoundly acknowledged by your buyers. You know, the kind of product that makes your customer feel like that you truly understood their needs and sculpted a product for that individual – ‘that individual’ being many, many people, all of them experiencing that same sense of care and focused attention regarding what they want and need in a product.
This is not the first time we’ve alluded to the importance of customer and client feedback, and it won’t be the last. That’s because this is the foundation of why we at WeZimplify exist and thrive. In our years of practice, we have experienced the wonders a profound feedback database can do for a business, and how detrimental the impact can be for those without one. Regardless of what industry you belong to and how many people or businesses you serve, collaborating with your audience to amplify the supply-from-demand spectrum is everything.
Collaborating with customers in product development is about studying customers’ intrinsic needs compiled into a feedback database, and searching for the underlying implications of value based on the insights shared. It is about adopting a learner’s mindset and a visionary’s innovative commitment to developing state-of-the-art, desired products.
Read on to discover the most important benefits of applying customer feedback to your product development in order to stand tall in a 2021 pandemic-inflicted business setting.
The Need for Feedback in Product Development
If there is one thing to be said about bringing customer feedback into an insight database, it is that the practice is a great way for businesses to allow themselves to study the comments provided by customers and deduct the true, underlying meaning of each. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s dive into the most fundamental needs first.
Primarily, listening to product feedback permits businesses to adjust their products in parallel with the needs of their customers. In doing so, companies can optimise their brand reputation and maximise the helpfulness of their products, ensuring that their product is the ultimate out there – and that customers know it.
The need for product feedback is due to the effect the practice has on customer satisfaction and retention. When customers feel that they are heard, they feel important and meaningful to their supplier. This notion is not limited to either B2C or B2B – clients and customers alike feel validated in their knowledge and experience when their insights are being requested and, even more importantly, addressed.
To revisit the notion addressed in the first paragraph in this section, it is important to remember that there is almost always a difference between what is said and what is meant. That’s why we recommend that businesses thoroughly study the full quantity of the feedback they’re getting, and deduct what deep-seated needs the customer is trying to express.
Just imagine if Henry Ford had in fact created a genetically modified horse to increase its speed instead of doing the legwork required to learn that the real need being addressed was getting from point A to point B a lot faster.
How to Solve Problems With the Customer
Thankfully, the practice we want to share with you is nothing like rocket science. If implemented correctly and taken seriously, solving problems with the customer is not only quite easy, it is also a huge opportunity for you to sit down with your audience and let them teach you their vision of a supply-master attending to their unique needs.
There are many ways for you to invite insights from your customers to your business. In an earlier article, we shared 5 easy steps for customer-driven development. Following those steps will get the motor running on how to develop the products your customers are requesting. When it comes to solving problems in an existing product, the best form of product feedback is a face-to-face dialogue so you can dig deep into what pain points you’re addressing and what success factors are missing.
Benefits of Customer Centricity and Product Feedback
At WeZimplify, we believe that companies need to incorporate customers’ feedback from their use of a product, in order to achieve co-created value and maximise final operational efficiency. This is one of the main benefits of customer centricity and collaboration with customers in product development specifically. Other benefits include:
Incorporating Product Feedback will Benefit Sales
If there is one thing we at WeZimplify understand, it’s that revenue is the core of any business in existence, without question. So when we say that you should spend your valuable time collecting, reviewing and adapting product feedback, just know that we have your revenue in mind.
One of the benefits of customer-centricity and product feedback is that it will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your sales. In truth, companies that know how to support customers when they are considering their offers will improve sales. The same goes for businesses that can admit to potential product deficiencies with conviction, as customers feel that those businesses are trustworthy and committed to getting things right.
Often, we see customers struggling with a lack of confidence in their purchase decision. When bringing in product feedback, the customer’s uncertainty will fade and they will know to buy your product – after all, they were involved in producing it successfully. Also, if customers feel that their experience is valued, they are compelled to stay loyal to that fact more than the actual product itself.
When customers’ insights are addressed, they will come back – and next time they bring their grandma, their best friend, and their esteemed colleague. The B2B setting works in the same way. If you respect the experience of your clientele, they will recommend your services and offerings to their partners, other suppliers, professional relationships, and even their clients.
Did you know that you can also acquire expert insights? Our software is built around the intention for businesses and experts/users to have a joint platform for deliberation and thus making sure your business makes just the right decisions for your products.
Develop Products That Provide More Value
Value and quality set the standard for whether or not a client or customer will return for more of your options later. When applying their reactions to your offers and product feedback, you will gradually optimise the product towards a top-tier value contributor. If your focus is to maximise the helpfulness of your product for the benefit of a larger crowd, durability, value and optimised quality need to be at the front of your mind as each product development loop unfolds.
Valuable communication with key customers is a key success factor for product development projects. Not only does it increase the amount and variety of collected data to your insight database, but it will also increase the quality of your product and the development process. With that, you can start to continuously develop products that provide value to the entire span of your audience, keeping everyone coming back for more.
Reduce Costs by Getting it Right Quickly
Don’t you just hate it when you start having endless loops of fixing a problem, only to have the next problem appear the day after? Extinguishing one fire after another is painful, aggravating and exhausting, and let’s not forget just how much money will go into a hamster-wheel practice like that.
Instead of trying to satisfy customers one by one, compile enough data to ensure that you can get it right quickly, without endless loops of repairs and adjustments. If you take your time and wait out the market introduction phase, you will find yourself with a significant amount of product feedback and shared experiences that allow you to get to the bottom of potential issues quickly and ahead of the rigorous looping from the get-go. This will significantly reduce repair and adjustment costs, and keep you from losing your mind trying to satisfy everyone individually.
Customer involvement in concept ideas and product feedback post-launch will enable you to develop optimised functional requirements for later product developments, modify your product design to reduce production costs, and develop a design that meets the specific needs and problems of the greater audience.
- Is “customer-centricity” a skill?
Companies or professionals aren’t born with a customer-centric gene, even if they realise they have a flair for it. Some people have a more natural flair for different skills, which means that they have a sense of the logic beforehand. However, any skill can be honed and any person can train themselves to have a more customer-centric approach. More accurately, customer-centricity is a set of skills rather than just one refinable skill.
It is about understanding customers’ decision-making paths, knowing which obstacles may stand in the way, and how to overcome them efficiently. It is also about honing your ability to enter the mindset of the customer and thoroughly enact their pain points and desires. Lastly, it is about seeing your business through the lens of your clients’ experience.