Over the last few weeks we have talked a lot about market analysis and Voice of Customers (VoC) in this blog. But if you want to get a good return on investment from your VoC, you must take action. How do you go about doing this? This post provides some tips about the next few steps after a market analysis.
- Recording – During the Voice of Customer phase, you should record (with audio and/or video) what’s being said and how your customers are using your product or service. This will help capture insights so they don’t get forgotten down the road.
- Capture findings – Once customer visits are completed and you get back to the office, fill an 11×17 page that we call “One page customer statements.” It helps capture the essence of what was said and the customers’ behaviors onto one single page, thus facilitating the analysis. (Note: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a copy of our tool. It can be used privately but is not for public sharing.)
- Dots and Patterns – At this point, you usually have 30 to 50 itemized statements or behaviors. Analyze the one page report and try to look for patterns (similar behaviors, unmet needs, pain points, etc.). We call this phase “Dots and Patterns.” Look for high and low emotional points to identify successes and problematic touchpoints.
- Insights – By now, you should be able to draw some insights from your analysis. Insights are discoveries that you might be able to leverage when you create solutions.
- Ideate – Start thinking of creative solutions to solve problems and improve the product. Brainstorming may yield a large quantity of ideas but it is important to narrow the solutions down to only high-quality ones.
- Value proposition – The last step in this process is to come back to earth and define what the value proposition is of each idea, to determine for yourself and for your management team that the business case makes sense. During this phase, you must consider 3 things: the customer, the product (or service) and the project.
- The customer: Define who your customer is, what he wants, what his fears are and what substitutes are available (i.e. what do people currently do instead?).
- The product: What will the benefits of your product (service) be? What emotions do you want the customer to feel when using it? What are the major features of your product (service)?
- The project: What do you need to do in order to develop the product (service)? How much will you need to invest? What will the target margins be? How many units do you need to sell (monthly, yearly, etc.)? How long will it take to develop the solution?
I am always amazed by how many companies conduct market studies and leave it there. There is little point in undertaking these costly exercises if no action is taken afterward. Voice of Customer surveys should help you reach your business goals, but in order for that to happen, you must analyze results and develop practical solutions and improvements.
Following the steps outlined above will help you take action and get from a Voice of Customer or market analysis exercise to money in the bank.
At Triode, we specialize in developing new products and services for complex industries like medical devices and transportation. We work with you closely to help define product strategy, with an emphasis on reducing the risks associated with innovating in these sophisticated and often regulated consumer-oriented environments.