The Product Trap
If you build it, they will come....right?
For a long time, building a better product was a surefire route to increasing revenues, market share and customer loyalty. Provide a better offering and customers reward you with their business.
However, modern industry brings greater competition than ever, and technology moves so fast that advances are quickly matched and improved on by rivals. Switching costs have never been lower for disgruntled customers in industries such as banking and insurance where products have become highly commoditised. Standardisation is now your enemy and a superior product is no longer such a safe bet.
Why it matters
When products are more or less feature compliant with each other across an industry, your competitive advantage lies elsewhere. For your customers, it's all about the experience. This is about more than just how they interact with your company. This is about the resulting emotions triggered by the experience that are the critical drivers of whether or not they become a promoter or detractor of your brand. Rather than checking incremental product features off a list, you need to be aligning the priorities of your business with those of your customers.
How it applies in your world
Give the people what they want. Use empathetic research of real-world usage to find out what truly matters to your customers and then adapt your offerings accordingly so they're engaged and empowered to take action. There are more touch points than ever available to gauge customer sentiment and modern Voice of the Customer systems allow you to record, analyse, prioritise and action the needs of your customers in real time. The customer's voice, in their own words, needs to be the overwhelming influence on what shapes your products in order to ensure their experience is outstanding.