A customer-led product strategy essentially implies that your consumers come first at all times.
Sounds very apparent, doesn't it? However, developing a customer-centric model that is really focused on the needs of its customers entails weighing a lot of aspects. Undeniably, customers sit at the top of the decision-making hierarchy and determine the future of your product.
Sean Folan, Vice President, Health Industry Leader, Cronin, says in Clootrack's customer experience study report, “The primary challenge is building a customer-centric view vs. what we think we know. As marketers, we need to put our own biases aside and see things through the lens of our customers. We need to steep ourselves in their needs and desires, focusing on key pain points and opportunities to delight.”
Gone are the days when the product team used to check off the feature list to launch the product. Brands are now focusing more on customers' wants and needs.
Why are Customer-Led Product Strategies Important for Your Company?
Customer-led product strategies actively focus on customer concerns and prioritize what matters most to them. If your company follows a customer-first mindset, you will never fail to please your consumers.
Here are 4 reasons why customer-led product strategies are important -
1. Delivers Greater Value to Customers
There is no point in purchasing a product that does not get the consumer out of the issue they face. Every strategy should be given priority in accordance with the demands of the consumer to ensure great interactions everywhere your brand interacts with them. Organizations must be flexible and clearly tied to a goal that gives teams autonomy since these demands are always changing.
Consumers are willing to pay if only they obtain a solution from your product. Customer-led product strategies enable companies to see their product through the lens of their customers.
2. Faster and better solution
We all know that in this digital world, the market changes very frequently and in a short period of time. Every passing day requirements of consumers vary, and organizations need to alter their products accordingly.
Making changes and adding/removing features is not easy. In addition, not following customer-led product strategies might become a big headache for your whole company. How? Not pursuing those strategies will require a chain of experiments to pinpoint what's working for your organization.
With customer-led product strategies, the product team can quickly make decisions and start working on product growth. The extensive flexibility and responsiveness as a consequence of this method entitle companies to deliver a faster and better solution to the target customer.
3. Ensures Customer Retention and Profitability
Every day a new product launches with almost similar features claiming to offer the best-in-market solution for consumers. Amidst a huge number of products in the market, customer retention has become a matter of utmost significance.
Secondarily, the profitability of a company comes with its customers. The customer-led product system is dynamic enough to assist you in spiking sales and getting desired financial outcome as you can make modifications based on customer reviews.
Happy consumers increase the customer retention rate and profitability altogether. Establishing your daily operations by acknowledging customer experience ensures their contentment with the product. Ultimately, buyers tend to stick with your product for a remarkably long period of time.
4. Encourages Positive Word Of Mouth Through All Channels
If decision-making authorities steadily centralize their focus on fulfilling customer wants, the brand starts getting recognition for its customer-centric nature. Customer-led product strategies increase the likeliness of customers talking more and more about your brand.
Moreover, in this tech-savvy world, online platforms have allowed consumers to share their experience with a product effortlessly. There are enormous channels for potential buyers to get product reviews and make purchase decisions.
Customer-led product model provides preference to the customers at every turn, reducing the chances of getting negative reviews and feedback. Thus, it increases ROI through favorable responses from customers.
How Customer-Led Product Strategies Offer High-Valued Customer Experience?
Customer-led product strategies keep both customer journey and product journey aligned. It transforms the organization's workings in such a way that every aspect considers the customer's desires when planning, developing, or modifying procedures for the product start.
For example, Tesla CEO Elon Musk valued customer feedback by implementing a suggestion from a Twitter user. A customer requested to adjust the steering wheel when the car parks. Musk responded to the user and promised to add that feature to all Tesla cars in the upcoming software releases.
Another pretty good example of a brand listening to the customer is Salesforce. It has built a platform named IdeaExchange that allows the customer to add suggestions regarding new features and ideas to help the Salesforce team to improve the platform.
Over and above that, if a consumer likes an existing idea on the platform, he can upvote it. The product manager adds the most upvoted idea at the top of a priority list. Then the product development team reviews and work on those ideas. In this way, eventually, brands get a loyal following by providing valuable customer service.
Additionally, not only does it help you in offering a better experience, but also to stay ahead of your competitors. The product team becomes conscious of all the latest trends and techniques used to acquire customers. The process of enhancing the product and CX strategy becomes quick and smooth.
How to Enhance Products for Better Customer Experience?
If you bring changes to your product without considering what your customers say they want, you are inevitably throwing darts in the dark. Your product is not what you think your customer needs. So, figuring out the right way to improve your product to satisfy your customers is vital.
Here are the three most effective ways to enhance products for a better customer experience.
1. Look at Customer Behavior
We know consumers' necessities keep fluctuating, so tracking their behavior through varying pain points and goals becomes a more straightforward task to perform. Use RFM Analysis or Customer Lifetime Value to figure out the same.
Salesforce made 15,600 customers a part of its consumer survey and found that 66% of them want companies to understand their needs and expectations. The customers in this survey consisted of consumers and business buyers at the global level.
2. Improve Product Based on Customer Feedback
Your customers provide ample feedback through a variety of online channels.
They leave multiple hints and signals indicating what's missing or what they would love to see in your product. You only need to listen to them carefully.
You can refine your product enhancement strategies by examining several customer opinions and unifying the outcome of your research. A customer experience analytics platform aids you in the profound scrutinizing of consumer insight reports generated from online customer reviews and feedback.
3. Build an Agile Product
Brands need to follow an agile approach to become more efficient in making effortless changes to the product. Even it promotes transparency in the product development cycle, allowing the team members to work with clarity.
Since the agile method focuses more on execution, the product team can cut down on turnaround time and speed up the substantial transformation processes. Providing customers with swift solutions can give you competitive advantages.
Leverage Customer Insights to Build a Great Product
Kaela Kucera, Ecommerce Manager at Pierce Manufacturing says, “Partner with retailers to get the analytics on interactions with your products from the consumer standpoint. That will give you more insight on how consumers feel about your product, demographics on who is buying it, and gives you the opportunity to target the customer experience to dial in on that feedback.”
Indeed, customer insights are valuable for optimizing a customer's journey with your product. But, the primary question is, how can you leverage those insights and operate to build a great product?
1) Improve Product Functionality
Often, a few errors creep in to ruin the customer experience. It is ordinary to encounter such inaccuracies from time to time. The subsequent agenda should be to repair the functionality of that feature as soon as possible.
But for that, you need to comprehend why and where the customer is struggling while using your product. Understanding customers through data accommodates brand solutions and allows the company to maintain the relevance of the product.
2) Fine-tune Product Quality
Buyers never hesitate to convey their thoughts, especially when they have purchased a product from their hard-earned money. Customer insight reports aggregate your customers' feelings and let you know what's wrong with your product.
By employing customer insight, you can look into flaws in your product and make appropriate fixes to build a quality product. Certainly, offering quality products attract customers due to its unrivaled benefits.
3) Innovate New Product
Before proceeding with big decisions like developing or investing in a new product, leaders should look into noteworthy pain points of their consumers through customer insights. Look for the missing part, what solutions most buyers are asking for, and what your company does not offer. A lot of them will offer crucial insights into where your product fell short or how you may make improvements to your product.
To Sum Up
A brand can genuinely serve a great customer experience through a customer-led product. Implementation of a customer-led product approach allows a brand to offer a high-value customer experience with a growth strategy that makes customers a priority while designing the product.
In this technique, along with CX executives, the product team must aim to build the product with customer-centric attributes. Using customer insights to enhance the product delivers exceptional value to customers and increases brand awareness through positive buyer response.
Finally, centralizing customer satisfaction can help you to improve product functionality and quality and innovate new products, increasing customer acquisition and retention rates. In return, it boosts the ROI of the company drastically and provides your customer with the best solution to their concerns.