Customers can be a valuable source of insight for areas that need improving with your operations. They may highlight new features that your offerings could benefit from, areas that competitors are better at, or their frustrations with your offerings. This article explores the value that comes from speaking (and more importantly listing) to customers.
New opportunities and ideas
One of the main things that you can learn from your customers is opportunities for new products or features that the customers would value. Sometimes a brief conversation will highlight easy adaptations that you could make to your product or service.
One specific opportunity is to speak with lead users – those users that are most advanced and may already be making improvements to your offerings to better meet their needs. These customers will be at the forefront of technological advances and may have their own thoughts and opinions on the trajectory of the industry.
Customers may also have some visibility of your competitor’s new product introductions. Sometimes discussions will highlight how your offerings compare to alternatives in the marketplace – the things that customers wish that you could add to your offerings.
Speaking with customers can give you some visibility of changes that you will want to make to better compete with alternatives – helping you understand the reasons why they choose your offerings for certain products, and also the reasons why they opt for competitor offerings in alternative situations.
Early warning on areas that you can improve upon
Speaking with customers can also give you an early warning sign of issues with your products and services. It can help flag up things that they are finding confusing, annoying, or would like to be improved.
Building relations and taking the customers seriously can help to resolve the issues before they result in a loss of business. Given the highlighted issues may apply across your customers, understanding what customers find needs improving with your offerings can be important at retaining customers beyond the specific client that raised the issue.
Final thoughts: It is important that the insight impacts back onto the design process
While listening to customers has clear benefits – it is also important that the insight actually is fed back and influences the development or servicing of your products. Listening, but taking action is not enough – capturing the full benefit of customer insight requires changes to be made within your organization.
Listening to different groups of customers: Existing customers, the customers of your competitors, and non-customers
There are many different types of customer feedback – each with different sources of insight. This article explores reasons for seeking a diverse range of customer opinions.
While there are many advantages to getting customer feedback, there are also potential dangers of listening only to your existing customers.
This article explores different approaches to gain customer feedback to improve your products and offerings – from asking and focus groups to reading customer reviews online and learning through support requests.
This article explores key considerations to help you retain subscribers to your subscription box service, avoiding high customer churn
This article explores key approaches for gaining insight into your products from lead users – from observations, questioning, and gaining their input into prototypes.
This article examines some of the most important decisions you will need to make when launching a subscription service – from your pricing plans to which plan to steer customers towards.
This article examines the four components of the 4P marketing mix: You product, its price, the place where it is sold, and how it is promoted.
Lead users can be a great source of input – but there are some limits to lead user analysis.
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