It is a very simple notion that as a business person you should obsess over your customer .. not your product, not your competition! Make your customer’s current needs and the ones your customer has not even thought of your priority. And in the process of doing so if you need to change your product or business strategy then don’t hesitate to make these adjustments. But is this what product managers and business people really do? More common than you would think product teams get sucked into building robust products with cool features customers find too complex to use and don’t even need. So why does this happen and what 3 things you can do to ensure you are building lean and simple to use products that bring value to your customers while growing your business bottom line.
Know your customer
You and your team should know who your customers are and what they do in their own business world. Know them so well that you can visualize their day clearly.
Understand your customer problems
Once you know your customer, you will start to see customer pain points yourself. Even then it is very important to have customers explain their problem areas and ensure you are perfectly aligned with your customer’s mindset.
Find easy to use solutions to problems
Build lean products that actually solve customer problems. Deliver products to customers, gather feedback, re-strategize if required, improve the product making it more appealing and useful to the customer. Repeat this cycle of launch-feedback-improve. It never ends! This does not mean you add tech driven features just for the sake of adding them. It means you create opportunities for customers to grow or do their business more efficiently.
This sounds easy to follow. So, what is it in product team’s mindset that leads them to deviate from this simple path to success? They lose their focus on what customer problems they are solving and start building something bigger or different from what customers actually need. Focus shifts to solving non-real or insignificant problems with the end result of product that no one wants. So how do you stay customer focused? It’s a mindset shift that you and your team need to consciously make. Put processes and checks in place to remind yourselves of your “customer focused” goal. Monitor your sales data. Good products sell themselves and do not require significant marketing investment. Keep a constant check on feedback from customers and ensure that your entire team understands why they are building the product i.e. to solve your customer specific pain points!