UX Perspective: Letting Your Audience Define Your ProductFebruary 04, 2014
Do you and your team feel like you’re just taking a shot in the dark when deciding the next feature set for your product?
We know it can be tempting to design features and solutions in ways that you think are best. After all, you’re the experts, right? But because you’re so close to the situation, it can actually be more difficult to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your product from your customers’ perspective.
That’s why today’s successful brands are eliminating “agenda pushing” and beginning to let their consumer base influence the direction of products, using social media as an ultra-accessible place to gauge user opinion. Better still, the 24/7 nature of social media means that businesses can now access user opinion in real-time, at any time.
To get on the path to smarter, user-based product development, we recommend two basic rules to live by:
Start talking with customers, rather than at them.
By simply engaging customers online, it is now easier than ever to ask questions, gather feedback, and communicate intentions back to customers. By engaging in meaningful connections with your customers, you tell them that you care about their business needs. Moreover, user feedback is some of the most insightful research you can obtain. Implementing solutions based on that research is what transforms average businesses into top-notch market leaders.
Don’t be afraid to just sit back and listen, either.
What we’re trying to say is be thorough. There are going to be times when you can’t engage social users in real-time. But just because you’re not around, that doesn’t mean that social conversations stop. Monitoring that conversation is the best way to stay on top of product improvements and feature upgrades that are needed and appreciated. It changes the game and leaves your consumers with a great impression of your brand.
By tapping into your target audience, you gain the ability to adapt your brand and show that you’re committed to your consumers’ goals. And with these connections established, your business is much better-positioned to retain both customers and brand loyalists for the long term.