Part 1

Do this for me – think of a real innovation…not a product extension like more stuff in an Oreo cookie or a new feature on an alarm clock. Think of a really new innovation. I bet whatever you are thinking about was born out of an understanding of the root cause of frustration with a current product or process.

In developed societies, we are well beyond necessity being the mother of invention. Today, we want frustration reduction. Think about Uber. Consider everything that is frustrating about using a traditional taxi service: you have to order one somehow, requiring a phone, phone number, knowledge of which company to use. Once ordered, you are wondering if he really will come. You hope the driver knows the way and that he will take the shortest/fastest/safest route. You fret over the meter ticking along at raceway speed while the car crawls toward the destination. And then there is paying, handing over your card for them to copy, waiting for the receipt, tipping. Then along comes Uber, and every one of these frustrations is reduced.

My Suggestion to You

Think about the interaction between your product and your customer. What creates frustration? A well-designed research plan can help you understand dissonance. Don’t ask, “What can we do better?” Customers do not know what is accessible to you to improve operationally or with staff training. You need to uncover the root cause of frustration and use that as fuel to progress forward.

Up Next: Musings About the Typical Causes of Frustration

In the meantime, dissect the process of how a customer uses your service or product, really detail the customer journey and customer experience. What can be done to enhance that interaction?

Ask Us About…

• Product Innovation Research
• Human Factor Research
• Label Comprehension Studies