One of the most famous quotes with respect to customer involvement is undoubtedly from Henry Ford:
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”.
Opponents of customer involvement are still using these words as proof that disruptive innovation is done without customer input. Unfortunately, real visionaries and innovators like Henry Ford and Steve Jobs are scarce. For most entrepreneurs customer insights are truly valuable.
Customer insights as a chance for improvement
First of all customer insights are a chance for improving your products and/or services. The question is how do you gather useful customer insights?
There are a lot of techniques for collecting customer insights. Tom and David Kelley, best-selling authors and founders of the award winning design firm IDEO, speak of ‘human centered design’. According to this philosophy you focus on the end-user of your product/service. They believe that the secret of strong design lies in doing two things:
- Observe user behavior. How do users behave when they are using your product/service? What problems do they encounter? Does a end-user grimace? Fix it.
- Put yourself in the situation of the end-user. Try to feel what your users feel… What do you like and what frustrates you?
Customer engagement for flourishing customer satisfaction
Customers who feel understood are probably more satisfied. But how do you involve customers in your decision-making process? One technique that is frequently used is creating a customer journey: a map of the journey your customers make when they use your service. First you make a list of every step your customers take. Secondly, you question the feeling customers experience at each stage.
For making a proper customer journey you have to observe real customers and involve them when you are drawing up the customer journey. This technique helps you to understand the needs of your customers and the barriers they are facing in each stage.
Technology to monitor customer satisfaction
Besides stimulating customer engagement, it is crucial to monitor customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is the degree to which your services/products meet the expectations of your customers. Customer satisfaction is not only about how happy a customer is with your service/product, but also measures how pleased the customer is with the overall experience he has with your organization.
Technology can be very useful to monitor customer satisfaction. In a few minutes you can create a survey and send it to all your customers or a segment of your customers. Analyzing the results is childs play with a good working software. This allows you to collect a wealth of insights that will inspire you for creative actions in order to optimize your services and products.
How do you involve your customers? What are your thoughts about customer engagement? How do you keep track of customer satisfaction? Do you have a fully equipped CRM application in your organization? Do you want to discover our CRM-module, feel free to contact us.
We are looking forward to exchange ideas with you about this subject!