Harvard Business Review Talks about Listening to Customers
The number one tenet of Lean is listening to your customers. The company should derive what is of value for the customers from the customers.
Let Your Customers Streamline Your Business, posted by Lisa Bodell, discusses this very topic in detail.
So rather than relying on internal perspectives alone, engage your customers in developing simplification ideas…
The blog talks about simplifying products and services to help retain customers and increase customer satisfaction.
This simplification isn’t necessarily “dumbing” down the product or service. It is about eliminating the waste in the product/service.
The first part of the definition of waste is the customer is willing to pay for and finds value in the feature. If they don’t find value then it is non-value added waste. The only way to understand what the customer believes is of value is to engage the customer.
Lisa talks about five ways to engage the customer:
Listen to your critics. Does your organization ask for customers’ feedback about what it was like to do business with you? What about asking non-customers why they don’t do business with you?
Roast your products and services. Comedy Central gained attention from its famous Roasts, where a celebrity gets torn to shreds with hilarious insults doled out by the audience. Try out this practice on your company’s products or services.
Turn pains into gains. Think about actively asking your customers about their pain points when it comes to working with your organization and its products or services.
Figure out what your customers do all day. Think you know your target market? Not just their demographic, but what their life is actually like.
Learn from other industries. Sometimes businesspeople think their company has unique circumstances; that problem-solving strategies that have proven successful in other industries wouldn’t work for them. This could not be further from the truth.
While there is a lot of traditional business thinking that I completely disagree with on the HBR blog, this one is dead on.
The best way to increase adoption of your product/service and gain customer loyalty is to listen to the very customers that are you targeting.