Customer Focus in 5 steps.
A great experience happens when you understand your Customers at a very deep level
Step 1. Identify their Goals and related Processes
Understanding how your customers work, what they do every day and how they react is key to understanding their key processes. Once you start understanding their goals and their associated processes then you can see how the product or solution you put forward fits into those processes. The friction of using a product has to be minimal and it has to fit within these key steps of the process itself. Now I agree that you won’t be able to influence processes which are external to the product but you know within the within the product itself you will have What I call micro-process flows which you can streamline to make your customers life easy.
Step 2. Talk to at least 3 customers / potentials a week
It is really important to you be in touch with your customers almost on a daily basis. That might not be possible but aiming to talk to you at least three customers in a Vieck is feasible. You should aim for at least three customers / prospects per product line you manage or you’re responsible for. Get in front of prospects on a sales call. Get on to support calls saw you know what kind of issues your customers face and get frustrated with.
Step 3. Let them come up with ideas
Listen carefully. Customers express pain points but they also give you ideas on how to solve them. It’s easy to ask them for more ideas on how to improve the product and this gives you a competitive advantage. It gives them a chance to influence your product or service. It shows them that there are things in their lives ( like your product ) which they can influence.
Step 4. Commit to something
Customers love the fact that you are listening to them. But most importantly if you give them a timeline around some of their asks / ideas that’s when they get ecstatic!. Even if it is a small thing which can make their lives easier it makes a difference.
Step 5. Manage expectations and communicate often
This is where most product companies or for that matter service companies fail. So you promised them that they get their new fancy report by let’s say X date. Then that never happens because you are trying to fight fires within the company. The simplest thing to do is send them an email and explain that there is a delay and that you looking into revised timelines. You can also communicate through your product. You can have a feature announcement section in an easily accessible place so people know that things have changed which are relevant to them. You could also give them sneak previews of your new features or even your next months roadmap.