You have two choices in product development, argue with customers or sell them what they want to buy, because it does the function they want to do.
Simple as that.
It doesn’t matter whether it is a product, a service or an experience.
Build/do/provide something the customer values, and will pay for.
It is amazing how many product managers and marketers, argue with customers. Seriously, they do. They argue about missing features, bugs, prices, support models and a range of other factors.
If you find yourself disagreeing with customers about what is needed, it is time for a reality check.
You could be ahead of the market, but you are more likely to be wrong.
If in doubt about which this is, look at sales growth and profit for you vs. the competition.
- Flat sales growth means that existing customers are not excited enough to be telling others to buy your product.
- Low profit means your product isn’t worth what you think it is worth.
If the competition is making more money, growing market share faster, you are wrong.
You can complain, you can explain, but you are then arguing with customers (and that doesn’t work).
Time to start listening to customers.
Once you have done that, the hard bit comes, deciding what to do first.
Quick tip. Start by solving the pain that no one else is, and turn the pain into pleasure.
And a final tip from Benjamin Zander; when the customer tells you what you really don’t want to hear. When they ask for the feature that you have just dropped, when they ask for the feature the competition does better … smile and say, “thank you”.
By talking to you, they are telling you that they want you to succeed. This is not the same as saying that they will buy the product, but that they do want you do at least give then the option.