Everybody is innovative – but who lives it?
By bringing in your customers continuously in your business processes, their ideas and wishes will be a tool to prioritise what your business should focus on. It forces you to view the world from the customer’s perspective. It is grounds upon which to say that your company is both innovative and actually lives it.
Get to market quicker
Customer involvement does not require more time but challenges your usual way of thinking. It does sound difficult and time-consuming to include insights from your customers in your business. In reality, it’s a method through which you can get new projects to market quicker.
Reduce development time & cost
If, for example, you continuously gather customer insights when you’re developing a new smartphone app, instead of waiting until it is 99% done, it’s not unusual for the development time to be cut in half. Simply because you hit the mark the first time around, thereby avoiding internal opinions and hidden agendas in the organisation. The customer’s experience always wins over any other opinion in the meeting room.
You can’t afford to avoid including your customers. Businesses who actively include their customers lessen the risks of failed projects, product launches and campaigns. But for this to become a reality, an organisation which usually makes its own decisions has to open up for the importance of their customers’ needs when making decisions.
Walk in your customers’ shoes
Use less time on market analysis and look at customer behaviour instead. Demographic target groups, market shares and competitor positioning is all well and good. But it will always be beaten by customer behaviour. You have to know what your customers say, think and do with your product in their hand. You have to know their needs. Otherwise you can be overtaken by tomorrow.
Who do you want to be, Nokia or Apple? At the end of the day, that is the question which customer-centricity is all about. Under the leadership of Steve Jobs, Apple was known to be a company that didn’t just ask their customers but observed them when building new products. Nokia on the other hand…
Previously published in 2015, updated 2020.
The thoughts behind this blog post are still very much relevant to today. Where organisations mature and move more in this direction. If you need help with your journey towards becoming customer-centric, let’s talk.