One of the main reasons why it’s crucial to understand the needs of the customer is because this is the number one way to promote innovation. Predicting the requirements of customers is never easy, however.
In fact, business leaders can get biased as they try to understand what a customer wants. Such biases can have negative consequences to the entrepreneur and the business as a whole. An example of bias is the fact that an entrepreneur is more likely to use his or her most recent experience with customers. The downside is that this may not paint the complete picture.
The best way to understand customers is to think like them. However, it is hard to sometimes know where to start.
Let’s consider a few tips to help you better understand your customers.
1. Make a follow up on the outlier answers
Sometimes you may not get a direct answer but this doesn’t exclude the response nonetheless from being an important input. You can get valuable information by not just considering the responses while doing your interviews but also observing the behavior of your customers.
This type of flexibility when conducting research can provide you with information that you may not have gotten otherwise.
2. Make use of objective tools
When you are designing a product as a business leader, it is very easy to focus more on your individual assumptions. When conducting your product validation, it is important that you remain as objective as possible.
As you create the product, document all the assumptions that you have. This will enable you to make the required changes as you go along. This allows you to remain aware and to be objective.
You can also use the moderate user testing method. This is where the testing exercise is moderated in many different ways. It involves guiding the whole process and answering the questions that the participants ask.
To the business, the benefits are great. It is an excellent way to find out how the customers view your products and you can understand what parts of the product fails to meet customer expectations.
3. Try framing the questions differently
You can try framing the questions for your research differently to find out the effect on user feedback. A recent study showed that the design of the questionnaire had a significant effect on the type of responses and the type of feedback.
For example, you can ask a question in a negative way or you can use percentages instead of numbers.
The bottom line is that it is not simple to find out what users really want. Sometimes they may not be aware of what will work best for them or they may not have a direct answer.
However, to understand the minds of the customer is crucial if you want to stay ahead of the game in the modern business environment. Preforming basic studies and surveys simply is not enough. Take time, be patient and invest in knowing the real truth behind customer wants.