Customer focus

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2010 at 10:16 am

The primary purpose of any product is to address a customer need. If you are selling a room heater, it should be able to heat up the space at a minimum. When you develop any product or service, keep the customer in mind.

Identify what the customer expects that the product should do at a minimum, what is nice to have, and what doesn’t matter. Prioritize this list and use this as your guiding chart. It is very easy to get distracted with feature creeps. There are always many things you can add to the product. The key to success lies in the ability to distinguish what is really needed Vs. what is extraneous.

Considering the analogy of a room heater, one should be able to power it, heat the room, and turn it off. Nice to have features may be oscillation and timer. Is a radio really required in a heater? How about a TV monitor? Is the customer willing to pay a premium for a radio and TV on a room heater? Will you make more profit & sell high volume by including these features? If this sounds way off, have you seen a fridge with TV monitor?

It is important to understand the utility of each feature from customer perspective, where the competition stands, what you can realistically offer without compromising the quality of the product, and how much profit you will make. A little focus can save a lot of time, money and frustration. It may even make the difference between staying in business and shutting the door. Have you seen businesses over do? Share your examples.


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