Validate Your ‘Cool’ Technology Ideas with Customer Feedback
If a technology company has the perception that customers do not know what they want so their feedback is not needed, they are setting themselves up for a gambling experience. Sure, it’s possible that even without customer feedback, you can develop a product that your customers will love. However, is it worth the resources to do so?
Going back to the saying about the faster horse concept, it hinges on the fact that customers cannot always envision a solution to a problem in the same way that solution inventors can.
You are the solution inventor, after all, for a reason.
Hypothetically, if Henry Ford had surveyed customers to find out the problems that they have with transportation, it’s likely that they could have mentioned the amount of time that it takes to get from one place to the other. And it’s possible that if he had asked how they would solve the problem, then, if the customers are not as creative as Ford, they could have mentioned the faster horse. What this outlines is that, the problem is not with asking for feedback in general, it’s about what type of information you are interested in gathering.
Center Your Software Customer Feedback on Problems and Not Solutions
Mostly, your customers won’t ask you for a faster horse, if you are not asking them to become the solution designer. If you are simply asking them to talk about their problem today, they are not going to go into solution designer mode. In addition to asking about the problem that they have, you may want to find out how they are solving the issue today.
Problems that are not worth solving are not worth their spending. If you have a problem but don’t spend time trying to solve the problem, then your pain isn’t extreme. Meaning, you are more likely to find a software solution created to solve that problem as a nice-to-have and not a must-have.