Why Customer-Driven Design and Development is Crucial?

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Product Design and Development
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Well, user stories are doing the rounds these days as far as product design and development are concerned. User stories are written requirements and customer driven.

Yes, they define what customers propose to get! After all, customers are what drives a business, right? So, it only makes sense to take their feedback into account.

Thus, more and more companies are bringing customers into the loop, to incorporate experience marketing into their services.

A Sneak Peek into the Customer-Driven Product Development Process

The user has some goals that he or she might want to achieve with a particular product or service. The users need to provide developers with the ‘reason’ to develop the product. This is because if you provide the context of what you want, it becomes easier for the concerned person (developer, designer, tester, etc.) to provide their 2 cents. They will state what might be the possible issues or how better can the product get.

This practice gives developers an idea of the client. That is, you get to know about their decision regarding UI/UX, the technology stack for an app, the features of the software, etc. You acquire all the information in the form of a written contract and further discuss it in several sprints.

Why Should You Opt for the Customer-Centric Approach?

It is time to bid adieu to conventional ways of engaging with consumers. Digitalization has brought about a disruption in this sector. Customer testimonials and experience help companies make better decisions and products so that they can cater to mass requirements.

Developers can modify the functionality, interface, features incorporated, and even price as per client specifications. The more the customer viewpoints are taken into account, the better the result will be.

Place Yourself in Client’s Shoes for Customer-Driven Production

You must always follow the golden rule. If you wish to design the best product, you have to place yourself in their position. When you see yourself as a customer, you will start to analyze the requirements, problems, and even the perks.

Some of the aspects that you will have to pay heed to are:

    Spotting the right customers
    Creating the target requirements
    Designing for the right preference
    Testing as per the requirement

How to be a Customer-Focused Enterprise?

Suppose you get more than what you have asked for. How would you feel? Elated, right? The same applies to customers.

If you exceed their expectations, then it would lead to more business and eventually, success.

    Keep them in the discussions and allow them to weigh in on ideas, grievances, and expectations.
    Look for different media so that you can build a good channel with them (ultimately, your target audience).
    Always ask for reviews and ratings from your customers so that you can understand the areas you have to focus on.
    Rely on smartphone sensors to keep a tab on customer activities and preferences to incorporate the information in market research.
    Carry out thorough data analytics to comprehend common patterns, and figure out the loose ends.
    Integration of chatbots for enhanced customer support and response.

How to Involve Customers in the Development Process?

The best product development strategy for most firms is to consider customer suggestions. That is understood. But how to involve them in the process? Let us find out.

Enforcing the Customer Environment

In case the customers wish to share their tested data, you should consider it. In fact, you should simulate the results in your project development process.

For instance, the customers might have already devised a way to tackle problems related to upgrades. All you have to do is incorporate them into the QA process. Also maintaining constant conversation with the customer is necessary, as you can comprehend their issues related to bugs or features.

Focussing on Customer Surveys and Change Requests

Customer surveys help in conducting thorough research about customer requirements. But many seem to miss out on the part that creating a questionnaire helps in removing ambiguities before project development initiation. For this to be effective, the questions have to be provided by the designers, developers, testers, project managers, and more.

Furthermore, change requests (CR) are important too, which should be brought to the notice of the R&D department. This will not only enable smooth user driven development, but also improve the entire process of designing, development, and testing. Most importantly, it will lead to a decrease in the CR.

Customers as Design Partners and Beta Testers

If you rope in knowledgeable customers as design partners, then it will only benefit the development process. All you have to do is share the plans, wireframes, and features. Now, these design partners share their valuable input regarding the specific aspects of the project which the R&D team includes.

Before the full deployment of a product, beta testing is mandatory. If you allow some of the customers to be the beta testers, exposing them to the full features, then you will get to know how it fares.

Amazon is the Prime Example of Customer Driven Approach

If you wish to go ahead and start with the customer driven product development module, then you should have a look at Amazon. The company provides a top-notch customer experience by taking advantage of the diagnostic approach.

This means they carefully analyze the interaction and engagement of the customers from day 1.
In short, Amazon is customer obsessed, rather than devoting its entire time to competitive analysis.

Conclusion

As you can realize, customer-oriented products and services are the way to go. So, if you are on the verge of launching a new product, you should check whether you have considered all the feedback provided by customers. You also have to review the channels by which you are providing your customers with a way to communicate with you. Customers are the “market makers,” so your products and services must evolve with them.

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