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Revealing the Best Ways to let Customers Guide your Innovation

Posted by Taniya arya

Gearing up your business towards innovation turnpike inevitably requires huge efforts. In this fierce competition, paying attention to your turbulent customers is an efficient way to reach new heights of success. Have you ever mused about this famous quote by Henry Ford—a famous industrialist—“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” This implies that customers don’t always tell what they exactly want, even when you ask them to give a feedback after using any specific product/service. Gaining customers insights is an important aspect to focus upon what they will want next so that they do not get attracted towards your competitors.  

Customer data, feedback and market research still pave the way for next innovation

When it comes to deriving innovation, you just need to see the experience through a different lens. You should be ready to learn what your customers are actually looking for – even when they are not asking for it. This is agreeable that you don’t have mystical powers to gather the data about your customers even when they don’t respond properly; however, you can still capture the powerful signals generated by your customers in the context of what next innovation should be.

In this blog post, I have listed down three important ways to let your customers stimulate Innovation.

  1. Intangible changes in behavior can be more powerful to direct innovation

Human nature is impulsive or one can say unpredictable. We often act on something before we really get into the matter or ponder upon why we are acting on it. In most of the occasions, we are likely to say we are satisfied though we don’t know what we’re missing out. 

For the sake of better understanding, let’s consider an example of Border’s Group.

Border’s Group, was an international book & music retailer, believed on seeing that customer satisfaction acts as the end of the journey. With the passage of time, they found that customers who were satisfied initially started behaving differently. Customers interested in reading books were opting brick-and-mortar stores less frequently and turned to e-readers long before Border’s prepared to step into this segment. This Group always thought that their customers would continue to behave as they always had. Well, this was a big mistake that took Border’s to a complete shutdown.

Keynote: Capturing the pattern of customer behavior is as critical as customer feedback.

  1. Verbatim responses can prevent you from forthcoming pitfalls  

Verbatim responses, including the patterns, keywords or even just a general snippet of information can give you the edge that you actually need to maintain distance with serious risks. This can be as simple as putting up the questions like “has it happened to anyone else” when you spot an issue reported once in a long run. A massive number of customers will not tell you when they are facing any kind of problem. Herein, seeing those who upfront the issues of the huge audience will help you to elude more serious troubles in the future.

The major issues which demolish the PR of call center companies or any other firm can be invisible if you are not paying close attention to these. It can even lead to business failures, where you have left only with a black hole seeming no opportunities of growth. It starts with just one complaint, grows to fifty and then gradually turns into hundreds of complaints.  

Keynote: If the very first complaint has been addressed seriously, those PR nightmares might be overcome.   

  1. Look around for trends, but remain vigilant from hype

To be very honest, trends are very turbulent. Consider this scenario which I have experienced from the SXSW aka South by Southwest Interactive Festival.  Of late, the exhibit hall was filled with QR codes. Brands couldn’t wait to imprint those funny looking barcodes on everything, right from a phone case to t-shirts. However, the problem is the way they were used.  QR is just a machine-readable optical label.  This is so silly to use it on t-shirts as humans wear them.

Sometimes innovation is driven by “what’s next” rather than “what’s actually amazing for customers.”

This year, Virtual Reality, the most hyped technology, hogged the limelight at SXSW. Although this tech is cool and adventurous, but it doesn’t fine-tune with every business to play in this sandbox.  

Keynote: Trends do arrive and get away, so you must be sure that you are listening to what customer wants in spite of that what they think is so cool.


It is imperative to focus on the real data—your customers’ insights—to really delve into the details and deliver what your customers actually want.  In essence, this leads your business, be it e-commerce or call center companies, towards the innovation track.

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