Methods for Identifying Customer Needs


An modern product doesn’t come from a law exceeded with the aid of the authorities. It also doesn’t come from task capitalists seeking out a better go back on an funding. Innovation comes from figuring out customers’ desires and imparting answers that meet the ones desires.

Companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Intuit recognize this. Uber’s fulfillment, for example, has come no longer from building new, better taxis, however from seeing — after which solving — people’s transportation troubles.

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Starting with existing information
You most probable have current statistics at your fingertips. Review past surveys, customer interviews, and purchaser-support call logs. There’s no point in funding an extensive and high-priced studies campaign if the statistics you need is already amassed.

Interviewing stakeholders
Why now not begin with the data you don’t should pay for: the collective knowledge stakeholders have. Start with sales and support groups. They understand the product and the purchaser. They often have a listing of function requests, bug reports, and improvements — instantly from the customer’s mouth.

Combine those to generate a initial listing of requirements. Look for styles, but don’t automatically dismiss one-offs — appearance to corroborate them with findings from other methods.


Mapping the consumer manner
If you recognize your client’s manner, map it out.

For instance, before Uber, to get a journey you called a taxi organization, waited to attain a dispatcher, waited for a car to be dispatched, hoped the driving force might find you, and hoped you had sufficient cash whilst you reached your destination.

With Uber, you open your smartphone and summon the nearest car with one tap; you already know how some distance away the auto is because you may see it in real time on a map. The driver also sees your place so he or she can come right to you. The figure shows a easy procedure map evaluating those reports.

Conducting “follow me domestic” studies
“Follow me home” research relies on observation by way of actually following a patron domestic or to work. You follow a purchaser to her place of work, spending the day watching her do her process. You observe manner pain points after which look for opportunities for improvement.

For instance, at some point of a “follow me home” workout, a group of researchers at Intuit noticed that retail customers had been exporting their transactions from their factor-of-sale cash registers into QuickBooks to manipulate their books. This step took time and on occasion brought about failure and frustration. The progressive answer? Developers incorporated QuickBooks right into a cash check in and eliminated the export step for clients and created a new edition referred to as QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS).

Interviewing clients
Go right to the supply: Ask customers what problems they have got and what functions they need. Even while customers can’t articulate their desires absolutely, you may regularly gain insights that cause successful improvements.

Conducting voice of customer surveys
Voice of Customer surveys gather information, from electronic mail or from a pop-up on a internet site, approximately the attitudes and expectations of present or potential customers. Use a mix of open- and closed-ended inquiries to see what produces the most useful statistics.

Although clients aren’t necessarily precise at figuring out their desires, this sort of survey regularly yields information from which you can discern client desires, challenges, troubles, and attitudes, and then advise possibilities for development.

Analyzing your opposition
Consider the usage of research corporations that could gift a extra goal face to clients who have interaction along with your organisation and its opposition. Consider the use of the SWOT rule: Identify your competition’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You can use a SWOT for a logo, product, or even an experience.

Analyzing motive-and-effect relationships
No one will disagree that it’s normally excellent to assume undoubtedly, but every now and then, terrible thinking can solve issues more efficaciously. Through observations, surveys, and different statistics resources, you could discover troubles which can be honestly just signs of other root motive troubles.

Task disasters, mistakes, and long undertaking times are generally the signs of multiple underlying issues. These can be problems within the interface or a disconnection with the person’s dreams. Through the process of asking “Why?” a couple of times and segmenting one of a kind causes, you could assist pick out and deal with root problems inside the person revel in.

Recording stories thru diary studies
Sometimes opportunities display themselves over the years. One value-effective longitudinal method is a diary examine. Ask participants to file problems, frustrations, fine stories, or thoughts at intervals all through an afternoon, week, or even a 12 months. This can be low tech, with clients writing their studies and mind down on paper and mailing it in, or excessive tech, in that you send textual content messages or emailed surveys to clients at particular periods.

Because you’re asking your customer to do the facts collection for you, be sure you have focused questions and clean hypotheses you need to test with all the facts that receives accumulated.

Expect an amazing percent of customers to drop out or now not be a hundred% diligent about filling out their diaries. Still, any data you may garner is higher than no facts at all. After all, you could’t restoration what you don’t realize about.


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