Customer centric product development
Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject Business economics - Trade and Distribution, grade: 1,8, Leeds Metropolitan University, course: Strategic Services Management, 15 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Each business should have one major focus to be able to develop and satisfy the market needs. Obviously this focus is the customer. It does not matter who the customer is defined as he/she has to be defined for each company in a different way. The main thing is that all efforts are addressed to the customer. Every company sells products or services to customers so from a quality assurance point of view it is crucial to develop products in reference to market needs or customer needs respectively. This is the focus for the assignment. A general guideline for an efficient product development process should be created with the overall objective - customer centric product development combined with an improved internal workflow. Anderson et al (2006, p. 1) states that customer value proposition is one of the most widely used terms in business in recent years. So it is important that a company is able to help customers understand the superior value of the products or service offered. Under pressure to keep costs down, customers may only look at the price and so it is important to think about the customer value proposition but also the comparison to the competitors of a specific market environment. This should flow into this assignment as well. Another problem of product development is that in many companies it is rather influenced by opinions of different sales people then by facts and figures. According Annacchino (2007, p. 101) a lot of companies tend to make a mistake at the product definition step, so that the customer is not really involved in the product development process. In reference to the definition of customer-defined needs there are different ways: - A company can use direct customer surveys to solicit feedback and to obtain information in a direct manner. - Another way is a focused group discussion which allows multiple-person input and prompted discussion to generate ideas. - A third possibility is a suggestion system and communication platform for customers and stakeholders.
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