- Posted by Source3
- On September 9, 2016
- 0 Comments
“The customer is always right.” By the age of 6, everyone has heard, and understands this phrase. In the last few years, the phrase, “user-centered design” has been on the tongues of makers and users in the context of design. Just in the last year, ADMCi, a school specializing in this craft started up, with an emphasis on developing a standard for what it means to be a user-centered design professional.
The term UX was actually coined by Don Norman of Apple, while he served as their Vice President of Advanced Technology. User-centered design is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use and the pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product.What this definition doesn’t say is that using user-centered methodologies makes articulation of the value the product offers to current and prospective customers easier. This is the essence of effective marketing.
One of the most interesting parts of my work is the process of finding, engaging and learning from my customer’s customer. All of my clients believe that they have a product that will truly make a difference in the lives of their customers. They are passionate about their products, and can describe in detail the value that they provide. I’m often excited and taken in by the way they describe the ”pain” that they resolve for their customers. I do not doubt that they are correct. However I do wonder if their customers see their product the same way.
At sourcedigital, our clients range from professional staffing and financing services to marketing companies that offer sampling programs as a point of market entry. The depth of knowledge they have about the “pain” their product resolves is substantial. As a digital marketing agency, figuring out the right messaging and channels to reach those experiencing that pain, pinpointing the customers’ feelings about the pain and finding out how they are currently addressing it is vital to our digital marketing campaigns.
Here is what we’ve learned:
- Everyone has a different “Googling style.” The keywords you use to describe your product and/or the pain you are looking to address may not be a match with your customers’ processes or descriptions of it.
- Interviewing people who don’t want your product is GOLDEN! We love to love those who love us, but there is value in those who “love us not.” They offer great insight into how our products/services are perceived and how customers expect a product to solve their problems.
- Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can make or break your marketing collateral. The way your current customers describe the value or potential value of a product is likely to resonate with prospective customers. I have a client who described our services as “a personal trainer for keeping his blog presence up to date.” What we learned here was that our client values having a content generation process that helps keep his blog in shape.
- Your audience’s digital maturity is an important factor. I’d love to be able to say that my clients can actually convert a user through a digital conversion. However, the depth of engagement is all determined by a customer’s digital maturation. Are they engaged online like someone who’s buying a life insurance policy and needs to consult other sources before they purchase it? Or are they someone who buys shoes with one click via an e-commerce platform? It all depends on the customer’s comfort level with digital platforms, and what they perceive is an appropriate buying mechanism.
Any process that starts without customer interviews requires more time experimenting with the value propositions you assume to be the most compelling for your customers. There is no reason to assume that we know which benefits of a product or service are the most valuable. We can simply ask our customers and find out.