Every product or idea resonates with a problem that needs to be solved. It’s either the solution of having the best logistics and supply chain for an e-commerce portal, or creating a livable habitat on Mars. For every service and solution an end user has a multi option selector in his mind to go out and opt for the best one. Yes, for space travel too, between SpaceX, Blue origin and Virgin Galactic.
But the question here arises about which best one ?
- Are we talking about the best available in the current market?
- Or, are we talking about a brand/product who is not famous but resolves every problem ?
- Or, the one who claims to be ?
In the digital age, the customer is smart. Just claiming to be the best does not resolve a problem. The answer to this is effective mapping of a customer journey. The methods that have been described do not discuss tools rather it discusses mindset and approach.
To what customers we serve our product is indeed important. The simple identification process can be done with regards to age-group, end user with special needs etc. The journey a customer starts with, is common and hence to design your product around the idea of serving your customer needs in minimum steps and delivering effective quality becomes important.
The planning strategy can take various shapes either by working on data already present through various sources or having common questions and pain-points (customer feedback) by drawing an effective mind map of your customer journey. It starts with creating user personas by profiling a type of customer to identify their journey, goals and pain-points.
The customer journeys can be mapped using frequent feedback from customer representatives, sales professionals, NPS score, etc. Do you think a better tool is available to deliver your reports on monitoring, GO FOR IT.
Feedback can not only be in terms of customer reviews but also how and when a journey of a customer fails or it is achieved. When setting goals for customer journeys, the touchpoints defined are important. As mentioned before, the less steps an end user has to travel to achieve the goal, the better is your product. Feedback can also be registered from technical team, design team, sales and financial professionals and all stakeholders associated with the product. As a product manager tunnel vision is sometimes dangerous. Collating feedback through various sources helps monitor (3rd step) customer journey in an effective way.
The term Minimum Viable Product is smartly termed to ensure the Product Manager does not lose his way out reaching towards the end goal. The idea is to Learn Fast, Fail Fast. With dynamic requirements change which can be due to various internal and external factors, the Product Manager has to ensure change is embedded as per feedback or discussions to ensure product success.
The Product Manager decides after reviewing thoroughly all the touchpoints and releases the product with release notes. The PM has to work cross-functionally with the Engineering, design, marketing, and sales team to ensure successful product launch. The product can undergo various version releases until it achieves a stable state in the market.