How to innovate around customers‘ needs?

In .Business Design, .Business Transformation, .Customer Experience, Blogfest-en, Uncategorized by Baufest

Optimizing user experience is becoming the focus of more and more companies. In fact, according to Gartner consulting, more than two thirds of companies compete now mainly over the base of Customer Experience (CX), as compared to only 36% in 2010.

Wednesday 19 - May - 2021

The price is enticing: 86% of customers are ready to pay more for an excellent customer experience. And 49% of buyers make compulsive purchases after receiving a more personalized experience.

Besides this, there is another key issue: companies that do not care for user experience take the risk of losing their customers´ preference, since the customers, not only pay attention to the service or the product per se, but also demand outstanding experiences.

Now: one of the greatest problems organizations have nowadays, when approaching this customer experience improvement, is that many believe they have a true focus on the customer, but the reality is that the majority focuses on their own products and services first, as much as on improving their offers, and therefore do not really walk in their users’ shoes.

To sort this out, we find it interesting to share this article that essentially proposes three ways to reach truly innovative ideas focusing on the customer first; that is to say, from a perspective which makes customer centricity something tangible and real. They are the following:

√ Understanding the problem that the customer is trying to solve.  

√ Identifying and eliminating problematic issues.

√ Looking beyond their own products / services.

Customer centricity

Customers often face difficulties in articulating the problem they are trying to solve. Thus, it is essential to go deeper to understand the root cause of the challenges presented.

That great innovation which puts the customer or user first, can begin by understanding the problem that the customer is trying to solve, and not necessarily with the implementation of a technological incorporation. And for that purpose, as indicated by the author of this article we are sharing, the key is to understand the root cause of the problem.

Now, how do we start to explore this? It will obviously depend on the case. But, in general, it can be said that the typical consulting approach may be inefficient. Many times, it can be more appropriate to face an ethnographic exploration to understand the social roots of the problem, for example, with individual in-depth conversations.

User experience

The second suggested practice in order to innovate with a true focus on the customer is to identify and eliminate the problematic points in the customer’s buying journey. For this, there is no need to incorporate sophisticated technological solutions that allow performing an exhaustive follow-up on customers. Many times, great solutions are right in front of those who manage the business, and are about observing each user´s experience in detail.

For example: many customers walk into retail stores and walk away empty handed, because they do not find what they were looking for. Why not then place carefully sanitized Ipads in selected places in the store to help customers navigate and find the product they are looking for?

Another common problem in retail stores are the long queues to pay. Why not then enable self-checkout and decrease the level of frustration?

Focus on the Customer

Charting customers’ shopping journeys is nowadays a common practice in many industries. Nevertheless, almost all companies begin and end their consideration of the journey with their product (for example: a car, or a credit). This practice may overlook what is really boosting customers in the first place, that is, their base motivation. To find the latter, one has to look beyond their own products and services to understand what is really moving the customer, and what potential opportunities this opens up in order to add value.

In the case of a bank, for example, what needs to be understood is that no customer wakes up in the morning thrilled about the idea of asking for a mortgage loan….the true emotion is in buying their own house. That part of the journey begins much earlier than the customer´s thought of requesting the mortgage. Then, what it is really about is helping them find the home of their dreams and then, for example, handing them a mortgage/credit calculator to help them establish if they can pay for it…

Thus, to involve customers, the first thing that needs to be done is to really think from their point of view, walk in their shoes and look beyond the bank´s own products and services, to interpret what is the problem they are trying to solve.

If you want to know more about suggested innovations after brining into play these three keys we mentioned above, please read this article.

Is there a real customer focused innovation process in your company? It would be great if you could share how tasks are approached in your office!