Welcome to the Experience Leader podcast, and to this episode brought to you by Active Digital! Do you want to de-commoditize your products and services? Do you want to become a destination brand, increase your revenue, and have more control over your pricing? If so, you're in the right place! Each week, we'll talk about how to create great customer experiences and how to orient your company to enable them. In today's episode, hosts Devin and David have a conversation about product and service excellence.
To begin, Devin stresses the importance of always asking if the main intent of your product is to help customers meet their goal. As someone who has run a product company himself, David shares his thoughts on this. While it may sound obvious, this task is a hard one to do. Small scale businesses have limited resources, so it’s crucial to make tradeoffs which will actually resonate with the customer. That being said, customer goals are rarely linear. You run into big problems when you begin thinking of customer needs as a one-size-fits-all. Customer feedback, both positive and negative, is essential to this process. In both Devin’s and David’s experience, not all feedback is created equally, so it’s important to single out feedback from customers with the job to be done that you are targeting. Similarly, you must have realistic expectations which map to gradual innovation.
Innovation is about being able to deliver more in a way that helps the customer solve that problem in a way they couldn’t before. While it is a cultural force, there is a need to give people the latitude to make those decisions. Most companies don’t allow a sufficient amount of time to ask why something didn’t advance progress like it should’ve. If you ask yourself these questions, you’ll often find that you weren’t very far off from success at all. Another way to nail product and service in the software world is to keep employing agile. David shares that if the adherence to the process becomes more important than the outcome of the work done, you need to reevaluate. Most importantly, you need to care about the impact of your product.
If you find that your product is not helping the customer reach their intent, you need to feel comfortable enough to stop what you’re doing and find out why. However, it’s never easy to slow the train down, especially in a large organization. Most of the time, it all comes down to how well you understand your customer. David explains that excellence comes from a place of understanding and demands latitude to solve problems. Finally, Devin offers parting advice for achieving excellence.
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