Monday, January 25, 2016

Three Aspects in Customer Centric Innovation

The customer is the center of innovation management and they are the major focus for innovation process and accomplishment.

One of the key characteristics of a digital business is customer centricity. The customer is absolutely a vital part of the overall innovation process. Customer-centric innovation can accomplish far more than incremental product/service improvement, it can also implement path breaking products or service, build evolutionary business models as well.

Outside - in Customer Viewpoint: When to look at the customer experience from the inside out, there is nothing wrong with that, because you are the one that can change the inside. However, the outside-in view is more important, because the customer's experience is about how they encounter, observe, or undergo a company's events or stages. Therefore, the proactive listening is very important and becomes a vital link in innovation management effort. Customers should always be involved, it is not a question of whether the customer is right or not, it is more of whether you are truly and proactively listening to their needs and gaining a deep understanding of the motivational construct of the customer through empathy, and figure out what they will likely want next. However, they are only one of the stakeholders in the innovation process, certainly they provide important feedback, but not the final decision maker. Because they don’t always know what they want and aren’t always best informed, and most especially when it comes to new technological innovation.

Crowdsourcing for problem-solving: At the heart of innovation is a life cycle of idea generation, interaction, selection, and learning.  The point of crowdsourcing  is to bring in new ideas from outside, the lead users or from the wider user community to drive features and understand the value in use of products and services. The goal isn’t just to be democratized or be cost-efficient, but to ensure that the abundance of good ideas to flow in. The more diversified people you invite in, the better result you could get, and the whole innovation scenario can improve idea generation, harness interaction and inspire learning and share.

Social innovation: It’s excellent to leverage the social platform and digital technologies to urge a sense of customer-centric innovation via online conversations. In other words, try to digitally connect key assets or context to the resource-rich innovation hubs and cluster across enterprise ecosystems. Setting agendas and starting new conversations that galvanize inspiration and gain traction on a powerful theme of renewal and growth. Thus, it’s important to take different propositions and approaches to a problem or a new interpretation. These innovative conversations may not directly provide you the solutions, but offer you a fresh insight into your goals, processes, and invaluable context.

The customer is the center of innovation management and they are the major focus for innovation process and accomplishment. Hence, it’s important to listen to customers and involve them in both idea generation and process implementation, to gain insight and empathy, to ultimately solve the innovation puzzles by differences between what is verbalized, what is prioritized and acted out and what is technically feasible.


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