Awkward Reality #34

Finished with your VOC? Not so fast. We need some numbers first.

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Think your VOC work is done if you can splash some pithy customer quotes on a PowerPoint slide? Nope. You must conduct quantitative interviews to isolate the important, unsatisfied outcomes (using 1-10 scales). We all “hear what we want to hear”… so unfiltered customer data is needed. Never spend development dollars until someone “shows you the numbers.”

More in article, Why Advanced VOC Matters (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).

Awkward Reality #33

Your new product development process is backwards.

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If your new product development process begins with “idea generation,” is it your idea… or your customers’? If you start with your idea, you probably won’t understand customer needs until the end… by seeing if they buy your new product. Why not flip your approach and start with customer needs? Unless you’d rather your R&D kept guessing at customer needs.

More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 4).

Awkward Reality #32

If you’re a B2B company, stop using hand-me-down consumer goods voice-of-customer methods.

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Traditional VOC relies on questionnaires, tape recorders and post-interview analyses. That’s fine for B2C, but your B2B customers are insightful, rational, interested and fewer in number. They’re smart and will make you smarter if you engage them in a peer-to-peer fashion, take notes with a digital projector, skillfully probe, and let them lead you.

More in executive briefing, Seven Mistakes that Stunt Organic Growth.

 

Awkward Reality #31

Voice of the Customer Data should be Unfiltered

Voice of the Customer data should be unfiltered. IMAGE: Man covering ears

We all hear what we want to hear. So we should require unfiltered, quantitative Voice of the Customer data.

After presenting conclusions from months of Voice of the Customer research, a marketer’s boss said, “No… I think customers want this instead.” A terrible reaction, but why did it happen? The marketer had no hard data—just quotes, impressions and anecdotes. You’ll be more believable, confident and correct—with unfiltered, quantitative VoC data.

More in article, 5 Growth Risks You Can Stop Taking (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).

Awkward Reality #30

Innovation requires attention to both Problem 1 and Problem 2.

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Problem 1—What’s the right question?—focuses on market needs. Problem 2—What’s the right answer?—is all about your solutions. Most companies put 90+% of project spending into Problem2, yet Problem 1 causes most new product failures. Hmmm… are you sensing a possible competitive advantage here? Will you explore it further? Will you seize it?

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 4).

Awkward Reality #29

Awkward Reality #28

Mediocre customer insights? You need a different packing list for your next interview.

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Cross “interview guide” off your packing list and add “digital projector.” The former indicates you—not the customer—will be guiding the interview. Not good. Project your notes and let the customer tell you their next problem or ideal state: You’ll learn what you didn’t know you didn’t know, they’ll correct your notes, and they’ll be much more engaged.

More in article, Why Advanced VOC Matters (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).