This week, the topic is customer needs, which is a very tricky and broad topic. A definition would be something like: “the solution to a problem/task/job-to-be-done that the customer may or may not know that he/she has”.
Experts on the matter will tell you to listen to your customers or to anticipate your customers, at Tandem we prefer to say that we want to dialogue with our customers. Being a professional services provider, we obviously have two sets of customers, the one who hires us (clients) and their customers (end-users) for whom we really work. We’re often hired to improve an already existing product or service for a client, sometimes the client base their need for improvement on the end-users wishes and sometimes they base their need on experience and forecast models. Most of the time, our clients tend to overlook one of our four pillars of innovation: goals, strategy, needs and user experience. This is why we like to dialogue with clients and end-users at the same time, in order to align expectations, goals and strategy. We do this by conducting ethnographic studies, by creating focus groups or doing any other type of research that we see fit and based on this research, we create scenarios which we in turn validate through neuro-marketing and finally we decide the best course of action together with our client, always taking into consideration the strategy of our client. This way, we make sure that we match the expectations of the end-users with the capabilities of the clients in order to come up with a solution in the form of a product, a service or an entirely new concept. This usually leaves us with the task of creating the user-experience of the product/service/concept, but I’ll tell you more about that next week, so make sure to check the blog or contact Tandem Joint Innovation if you think we should collaborate.