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Successfully introducing a new product is not an elusive goal. That achievement is largely determined by one parameter: how closely the final product aligns with customer expectations. Industry Leaders separate themselves by gaining a deep understanding of the customer’s needs and effectively incorporating that intelligence into the product design. A simple way to accomplish that goal is by implementing Agile Development methods into your product development activities.

The Importance of the Customer Voice

Today, the customer is simply more empowered through advances in technology and communication, making customer feedback a top priority to guide product development. In a recent survey conducted by Aberdeen group, 35% of All Respondents listed product feedback from customers as one of the top three areas that had the highest impact on their product development. One noteworthy trend is the way companies are starting to use customer feedback in the beginning stages of their development. Early requirements management influenced by the customer’s voice is becoming a more common goal for companies. Thirty-eight percent of all respondents said translating the needs of the customer into product requirements was another of their top three pressures to improve.

Business-customer collaboration during the requirements gathering process allows the customer to provide input based on their needs. This forum also keeps the product management team attuned to any emerging market trends. In this space, the customer has a sense of ownership, allowing companies to begin or maintain brand loyalty.

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Due to the success of business-customer collaboration, companies that successfully anticipate customer requirements ahead of outright customer demand will see shortened development cycles and brand loyalty when customers sense that the company “gets it.”

Key Tenets of Customer-Centric Development

A customer-centric business model shifts the traditional focus from external forces in the industry to the singular view of fulfilling customer needs. This model is defined by four factors:

  • The customer’s wants and needs,
  • The customer’s language about their desires,
  • The customer’s interaction with the product (personal thoughts and uses), and
  • The customer’s priorities on where product performance should be focusing.

Due to the success of business-customer collaboration, companies that successfully anticipate customer requirements ahead of outright customer demand will see shortened development cycles and brand loyalty when customers sense that the company “gets it.”

Read the full report for more insights and a poignant case study.

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