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Use the insight of your customers

Fewer failed projects, launches and shorter internal development time. The secret? Customer-Centricity. Here’s five tips and tricks for success.

On many levels

How can you bring how your customers actually use your services and products into play without it leading to wasted time and complications? The shortcut is having the organisation adopt customer-centricity in a broad perspective. That means having your business continually collecting insights from your customers, regardless of whether it relates to developing a new website, improving your service offering or developing a new generation of products.

If you take the customer's perspective to support your own and your colleagues' knowledge when making decisions, it’ll lead to fewer failed projects and launches, a shorter internal processing time and overall a business which the customers can feel wants what is best for them.

Here are five arguments for having the organisation adopt a customer-centric focus:

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 grounded upon that your company is 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 and cost

If, instead of waiting until the product is 99% done, you continuously gather customer insights when you’re developing a new smartphone app, it’s not unusual for the development time to be cut in half. The development time is shortened because you hit the mark the first time around,  avoiding internal opinions and hidden agendas in the organisation. The customer experience always wins over any other opinion in the meeting room.

Reduce the amount of failed products

You can’t afford to not include your customers. Businesses who actively include their customers lessen the risks of failed projects, failed product launches, and failed campaigns. But for this to become a reality, an organisation which usually makes its own decisions has to open up to 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 will be left behind. For example, see Saxo Bank case.

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.

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