• Margo Paap

Want ProductSuccess & Customersatisfaction? Focus on WHY.

WHY? Because otherwise you will overlook what your product really needs to offer to its potential customers.

Customers are nowadays well informed about products, and in most cases well pre-informed about possible solutions before inviting a potential supplier. Often they already knows what they want. This is one of the biggest pitfalls created by all content that is available nowadays.

In my view there is a huge gap between what a customer wants and what they truly need. The feature he might be looking for might not solve their problem or is not state-of-the-art.

In my career I came across several requests (feature) that we had to incorprorate in our products.

As a Product ManagerI wanted to understand in those cases, why the customer wanted it and the answer to that questions was often unanswered. If this question remained unanswered the design team was not allowed to start with this project as the scope would not be clear nor would it allow my team to apply new and state-of-the-art solutions.

Most effective was visiting the customer and really dig into the WHY. Then you can combine observation (use of the product) and conversation to come to the core need and reflect on possible solutions.

One of those customers I still remember very well. They requested a feature in a workwear garment and I wasn’t convinced that this would bring them value. During the visit it became clear to me…the problem they had was sick-leave due to neck problems when maintaining aircrafts. The mechanics had to lift their arms continuously when executing their daily work activities. There were of course other constraints that we had to take into account, but this was the main issue for that customer and it had big financial impact for them as well.

In the end we managed to develop a solution that really contributed to solve their problem, had financial impact for them and a happy workforce! Solving their problem has lead to an extremly high customersatisfaction and loyalty. And yes the feature initially requested by the customer would not have achieved that.

Productmanagement tips;

1. Understand the WHY

2. Visit, observe and talk with users and relevant stakeholders

3. Reflect on what problem needs to be solved

4. What is the state-of-the-art solution for this problem

5. Prototype and test

6. User and customer feedback

7. If successful, ask for reference and see what other user groups have the same problem

8. Check potential, targetgroup and add if relevant to your portfolio

Last but not least, visit customer and potential customers regularly, they give you the best insight and inspiration for sustainable development.

#productmanagement #productdevelopment #addedvalue

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