Do you understand your customers’ pain points, needs, wants, and goals?
If you want to create a successful product, you need to have deep insights into the needs of your customers. Customer research is vital to understand their behavior and needs. Without this understanding, it would be difficult to create a product that meets their requirements. There are many different research methods that you can use to gain insights into your customers. Surveys, interviews, and diary studies are all excellent ways to learn about their wants and needs. By taking the time to understand your customers, you’ll be able to create a product that they’ll love.
I can’t count how many times organizations have told us they know their customers. That they spend a lot of time talking to them and have heard what they need. But when we drill in, this is based on relationships that a salesperson, account manager, or customer service relationship with the client. The question to ask is how much time does your organization spend sitting with your customer and observing them perform their work? Humans are notoriously bad at self-assessment or reporting on what they actually do, let alone what they need. Whether it’s overestimating one’s abilities (studies have found that on average, people think they’re above average), recency effects, or acquiescence biases, our psychological machinery is not built for objective self-reporting. On top of that users often don’t notice the workarounds, tips and tricks they’ve learned or not know that there’s a better way, resulting in omission from any self-reporting.
As a result, it’s useful to engage in conducting solid research that’s designed with these challenges in mind. To understand user needs, well designed user research is a critical step in the process. For example, observational techniques such as contextual inquiry bypass many of the challenges stated above by sitting with a user and watching them perform a task while they are narrating what they are doing. This almost always provides new insights and critical detail.