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The Importance of Questioning Customers

The Importance of Questioning Customers

Customers (the people who represent the organization buying the goods) are often the responsibility of sales and product management, and their opinions are powerful within businesses. Many of us have seen user-centered enhancements pushed aside in favor of customer requirements, which can be frustrating for both us and the users. Simultaneously, user experience professionals frequently undervalue research conducted with people who represent customer organizations in a business capacity, potentially missing out on an opportunity to use insight into customer culture, goals, and strategy to propel a product—new or existing—to greater success.

When it comes to technology innovation, people often quote Henry Ford’s adage: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have responded faster horses.” This anecdote is sometimes used to suggest that people have just a rudimentary understanding of their own requirements; they ask for a specific solution (horses) rather than explaining their demands (a way to get farther faster)

Even if clients rush right to a solution, it’s still useful to inquire about their experiences and ambitions. The conversation should not end with “faster horses.” Instead, it’s a chance to identify a need. Customers that request “a spreadsheet emailed to me more frequently” yet would prefer to see the same data in real time so that management choices are based on the most up-to-date information are in the same boat. Whether the customer wants shorter distance travel or more current info, a user experience specialist may add substantial value to the interaction.

While customers are rarely experts on their users’ needs, they may tell you a lot about their businesses, their aims, and how they approach problems—insights that end-user research may not reveal. Both methodologies are complementary: user research reveals how users behave, whereas Voice of the costumer reveals what customers desire. They have tremendous potential when combined.

For more info on Voice of The Costumer check out the website Reveall.co The also provide great UX research tools.


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