Make something that people want
Article

Make something that people want

Ben Reason
  • Ben Reason
  • Founding Partner
Take aways
  • Customers do not want products that are complex or not meeting their needs.
  • Immature product launches hurt long-term business growth.
  • Silo mentality leads to inconsistent customer experience.

Products with too many features, oftentimes, are not what customers want. Organisations should focus on delivering what customers value most and at the right time. Prototypes and pilots generate customer insights and improve ideas from the beginning of the development cycle. Launching immature products or services could have long-term impact on the business, while silo mentality could result in inconsistent customer experience.

Customers expect organisations to excite, innovate and deliver quickly in order to meet their needs. It doesn’t mean they want a perfect solution from you, at least not right away. Therefore, instead of aiming at feature-rich solutions that are possibly beyond your capabilities, organisations must focus on understanding and delivering what their customers value the most.

Build solutions that customers want

A relevant and impactful product or service is what customers want, as it delivers immediate customer value. It requires organisations to look at what customers really need from an outside-in view, instead of an opposite, inside-out view in which organisations imagine they know what customers need.

A risk of an inside-out view is that organisations may end up developing features or services that are not needed in the first place. They produce products or services that are supposed to address a very diverse range of problems, but are too complex to be adopted by customers and staff.

Deliver the minimum

Therefore, sitting on data is not enough, organisations must interact with customers and staff in order to find out their unmet needs. Fulfilling those unmet needs is to unlock value for customers, and to avoid producing solutions that are wanted by nobody.

When organisations aim at delivering the minimum, they are able to generate value quickly while learning what works and what doesn’t. These insights ensure the final product or service to meet the needs of the customers as well as to generate real business value.

Don’t be greedy

You risk spreading yourself too thin if you try to achieve too much too quickly. Don’t attempt to solve too many problems in one go. Otherwise, you are stuck in linear thinking – a perfectionist thinking that aims at building a final polished solution. Linear thinking limits your ability to learn from early feedback and refine your solution before the proper launch.Doing it too quickly is also a problem. Time pressure to beat the competition may reduce the quality of products and services. Organisations should focus on delivering a capability that is of a high standard and meeting basic customer needs, instead of reaching project milestones or completing tasks. An inadequate delivery of products or services hurt both the short-term potential of customer adoption and the long-term market growth.

Teams do not equal collaboration

On top of simplicity and relevance, consistency is also important in customer experience.Barriers between departments, internal red tape and misalignment between stakeholders are reasons for siloed organisations. Such organisational culture encourages departments to focus just on their own tasks, and lacks a common understanding that is crucial for a seamless customer experience. This causes inconsistencies in the products or services, and impacts the organisation’s ability to consistently and effectively respond to customer demands.

Even if a product does solve every problem 94% of people abandon it because they find it difficult to use.

Focus on what customers want

Too many features make an experience too complex to be really enjoyable for customers. Organisations should shift the focus to what people expect and desire, and ensure the right solutions are delivered at the right time.