Product Requirements gathering by Google

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

One of the key ways to keep customers satisfied is to meet their expectations for improvements to your products and services. Some companies do focus groups, or gather data about what their competitors are doing and industry trends, and then decide what products, or improved features in a product or service should be developed. One of the best practices is to gather product requirements from your customers. Google is doing just that with their Google Places for business offering. There have opened the opportunity for their community to ask questions and provide ideas. They make no commitments but it is interesting to see how a large powerful organization like Google is using a customer satisfaction best practice as it develops its new products.

Crowd sourcing is a new web technology that allows organizations to tap web users to get feedback or have users help each other with problems they may have. Redesignme is a web service where organizations can solicit input from over 7000 creative users to improve a product, or its marketing, a corporate identity, a package design, or how to bring a product to market.

Products/ services can often be improved if we listen to our customers. Use the service organization to explore customer questions and complaints fully. The benefit of using customer service in this way, is that the details of what the customer wanted, which were meticulously explained to the customer service representative is not lost. This is an excellent use of customer service resources which is often overlooked. After product requirements are gathered, the next hurdle is to decide which ones to fund through the development process.

Listening to your customers is a key element of any customer satisfaction strategy. FeatureSet is business community software made to facilitate product development collaboration. It is the first social business application that connects the customer to the product management process.

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