Customer Centric Product Design Must Consider “FORCES”

Marketing and technology teams are racing to align around customer experience in an effort to deliver optimal reliability, as well as innovation through the insights that occur while executing. More than ever, your product is your focus group in today’s customer-centric, mobile-first economy. Regardless of your industry your ‘product’ centers around your overall customer experience as well as the solution or service you provide.

Integrating a blend of design thinking, lean design, agile development, usability, and customer experience is paramount to your future ability to compete. Your business is vulnerable to disruption at any touchpoint in the customer journey, especially if it’s not infused with the DNA strands I just mentioned.

Operationalizing innovations into the existing day-to-day management framework can be challenging for several reasons, but generating more predictable (insight driven) cycles of research to discover, design, and deploy these leaps forward comes down to understanding and evaluating three major things:
Customers (the voice of customer input that feeds product iteration)
Competition (strengths and weakness across the customer journey)
Forces

The last two are outside of your direct control (Competition and Forces). However, the one that can be glazed over is #3. Forces are the external things that we can’t control, can’t always predict, don’t always have anything directly to do with our industry, but almost ALWAYS CAN BE CAPITALIZED ON as a strategic advantage if we get out in front of them with plans early enough.

I saw this Deloitte research (that began in 2013) recently and thought it was worth sharing. Check out the video below for an example of FORCES that must be considered as you evaluate how to use a purpose focused strategy to materialize your vision while optimizing customer experience. Enjoy ~CJS

Enjoy the Shift Index assessment tool here.