Background: Detail telephoto in Pompidou Museum of Modern Art, Paris. © Dan Abelow.
Align managers and customers:
What are the gaps? How large? What to do?
As managers direct the business, how well are they aligned with customers in areas like:
- Position products to fit customers
- Develop the content customers need
- Deliver in-use information so customers reach their goals
This study was done to learn both the business and customers' objectives for the company's core products and services.
It was done by conducting parallel series of interviews with appropriate decision-making managers and major customers.
Its alignment goal is to provide an optimized online and offline business process that is driven by customers needs, and maximizes customer success and satisfaction — while meeting the business managers' objectives.
These parallel series of interviews determined that:
- Managers sensed a need to evolve, but most continued to focus on "superior product quality," "best features" and high-level solutions messaging.
- Now, customers feel many companies sell good products. Differences are smaller. They want products emphasized less.
- The #1 gap: The primary focus needs to show each customer how to use the products to achieve their goals.
- This means how to use the products to deliver the results each customer wants. The emphasis should be application-focused and include the process and task information that produces user success.
This new focus means more than re-focusing on "results content." Each customer wants their applications that reach their goals. They do not want to deal with a large number of applications.
Customers and managers both recognized that the online resources and relationship will be key to producing this.
Personalization for each customer is key: Take me to what I need, and make me successful in that.
Strategic User Research Framework:
In addition, a pre-planned user research framework provided the ability to add a meta-analysis from 6 user research studies. This added insights from 153 additional users:
76% of the users' recommendations for improvements were in the top 3 problem areas.
This informed managers and developers that applying this re-alignment should focus product positioning, personalization, "results content" and design on:
- The navigation path
- The number of choices
Experience and Expertise:
- What design fits customers best?
- Align managers and customers: Find and fix gaps
- Strategic user research frameworks: Speed , breadth and depth