Product Management

Placing Customer Voice at the Heart of Product Discovery Process

Content Writer

Athira V S

January 8, 2024

13 mins read

Placing Customer Voice at the Heart of Product Discovery Process

The market and technology are constantly evolving. If your product fails to adapt to these changes, it may become obsolete. This is obviously undesirable. So, what can you do? The solution is simple: implement a product discovery process.

When preparing to launch a product, most businesses conduct research, product validation, prototype building, etc, to get a general idea of whether the product will succeed. However, after a point, some completely wave goodbye to the product discovery process, which pushes their product downhill. 

Hence, doing product discovery isn’t just enough. It has to be continuous, period!

Furthermore, to take it a step further, it is essential to keep the voice of the customer at the heart of the entire product discovery process. This article will help you do just that!

What is Product Discovery Process?

Imagine you're a chef trying to create a new, crowd-pleasing dish. The product discovery process is similar - it's all about understanding what your customers crave. This iterative process involves identifying the problems your customers face and using this insight to whip up a product that they'll love.

Product discovery is an iterative process where you identify the problems you want to solve for your customers to ensure the success of your product. Making product discovery a part of your product development process is important to build products that resonate with your users and drive revenue to your business. 

Moreover, this process helps product teams decide which features or products to prioritize and build, thereby laying the groundwork for achieving product excellence. 

The emergence of product discovery can be traced back to the early 2000s, coinciding with the rise of Agile methodologies and user experience (UX) design, which shifted the focus of product development from internal business needs to customer desires.

Why is Product Discovery Important?

Avoids Risks

It steers you clear of potential pitfalls in usability, feasibility, value, and aligning with business needs. Product discovery process helps you get past all these risks and helps you make informed decisions that are aligned with your customer and business needs. 

Since you will engage in product validation cycles, you will able to identify the risks before and can make due course corrections and iterate till it works. 

Ensures Product-Market Fit

A core goal of product discovery is to find product-market fit. This involves understanding the main problems customers face and creating solutions that are both desired and viable in the market. Product-market fit is essential for the success and sustainability of a product in the competitive marketplace.

Avoids Feature Factory Mindset

Engaging in a continuous product discovery process is the best way to stay out of the feature factory mindset. Product discovery informs your decisions through proper validation, and you don’t end up building products that nobody uses. Focuses on solving customer problems rather than merely developing features.

Resource Optimization and Time Efficiency

Product discovery involves identifying the most pressing needs and problems of users. This understanding allows product teams to concentrate their efforts on developing features and products that directly address these issues. By focusing on what truly matters to the user, teams can avoid wasting time and resources on less impactful aspects of the product.

Improves Stakeholder Alignment

With product decisions grounded in user research and data, there's a stronger alignment among team members and stakeholders. This alignment ensures that product development is not driven by assumptions or biases but by real user needs.

Steps in the Product Discovery Process

The product discovery process is a critical phase in product management that ensures the development of successful, user-centered products. This process involves several key steps, each contributing to a deeper understanding of customer needs and effective product solutions. Here's a detailed overview of these steps:

Feedback Collection and User Research 

Talking to your customers and collecting their insights is crucial in the product discovery process and in developing your product. 

You gather qualitative and quantitative data about user needs and behavior when conducting user research, such as surveys, interviews, and product usage analysis. This helps you pinpoint the throbbing pain points of your users, guiding you seamlessly from the problem space to the solution space.

 Prioritizing the user voice here isn't just good practice; it's the key to elevating the quality of your product. 

Identify Problems and Prioritize

It is important to gather customer insights to identify the most common problems they face. One way to achieve this is by mapping the opportunity space, categorizing the problems based on different themes, and aligning them with the business strategy and objectives.

However, not all user problems can be addressed simultaneously. Therefore, it is necessary to prioritize issues based on their alignment with the product vision and business objectives. To assist in this process, tools such as the Kano Model or Opportunity Solution Tree (OST) can be useful.

Product Ideation

In this stage, brainstorming sessions are conducted to generate a wide range of solution ideas. Techniques like story mapping, brainstorming, and mind mapping are used to encourage creative thinking and explore various solution options.

It is advisable to brainstorm individually before you come together and brainstorm together as a team. This would generate more creative solutions for your customers. You can also practice brainwriting with your team and then discuss those solutions together as a team to make informed decisions. 

Validate Product and Feature Ideas

Ideas generated during ideation are validated to ensure they are feasible and effectively address user problems. Techniques like fake door testing, A/B testing, and feedback widgets can be used for validation.

Prototype and Test

The next step is to develop and test prototypes with users. This includes creating mockups clickable prototypes, or observing users using similar products. The aim is to refine the prototypes based on user feedback and develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for further testing. 

This will help you to make iterations or, altogether, understand the success rate that the product would have. Moreover, this can help you comprehend the 

Align with Stakeholders

This involves presenting the validated product ideas and data to stakeholders to gain their buy-in and support. Effective communication of both quantitative and qualitative data is key in this step. 

Continuous Discovery

Product discovery is an ongoing process that should continue throughout the product lifecycle. Regular check-ins with users and stakeholders ensure that the product remains aligned with user needs and market trends. 

Making Customer Voice the Centre of Product Discovery

It's undisputed that for the product discovery process to thrive, having direct access to your customers' unfiltered opinions and feedback is non-negotiable. Yet, the common hurdle faced by product teams, much like yours, is the absence of a systematic process to initiate and cultivate this crucial feedback loop. This section unfolds solutions tailored to address this challenge.

Feedback Collection & Centralization

To receive honest feedback from your customers about your product, it is crucial to have a smooth and hassle-free feedback mechanism in place. This will allow your customers to reach out to you easily in case they face any issues while using your product or have any suggestions to improve it.

Enter Zeda.io’s customer portal and widgets—a dynamic duo streamlining feedback collection and organization. 

Customer Portal

Zeda.io offers a customer portal that is ideal for capturing customer feedback. With this tool, you can create custom boards and easily categorize feedback, even if you have multiple product lines or customer segments. Additionally, you can set restrictions on who can view the feedback, which improves the efficiency of centralizing feedback. In short, this tool provides a personalized space for collecting customer feedback.

In-app Widgets

If you want to offer your customers a hassle-free feedback submission experience, this is the ideal choice for you. With this option, users can effortlessly take screenshots and record videos to accompany their feedback or requests. This enables you to capture the essence of their feedback and better understand their needs.

There’s an interesting addition to these: you can easily customize the look and feel of your portal and widgets to match your brand's requirements, ensuring that customers remain connected to the product and enhancing their overall feedback experience.

Zeda.io provides a centralized view of the feedback collected from widgets and portals, making it easier to determine your next steps and decide what to build next.

Feedback Management Automation

Understanding your customers' requirements is crucial for a successful product discovery process. As a product manager, you may find yourself spending a lot of time on manual operational tasks, instead of focusing on your core responsibilities. Thus, finding time to gather meaningful feedback can be a daunting task.

That's where Zeda.io's automation comes in handy. It saves you time and effort, providing you with valuable insights that make your job easier and more efficient.

With the ability to categorize features based on themes and AI-generated sub-themes, identifying critical customer issues becomes a breeze. Whenever customers share their feedback through widgets and portals, it automatically updates the dashboard. Valuable data such as company, user name, and revenue impact will be reflected on the dashboard, streamlining the feedback prioritization process.

Moreover, when aligning feedback with features, our AI-generated feature suggestions save you time from creating features for feedback.

With Zeda.io, you can effortlessly keep your customers informed about the progress through your portals, widgets, and notifications. When customer feedback is implemented, they receive a notification, and they are automatically notified through an email when the feature is shipped. Moreover, customers can view real time status of their feedback through customer portals and widgets. This helps you keep your customers' voices heard throughout the product development process, enriching your product discovery process.

Feedback to Feature Development

Transforming customer feedback into product features is a crucial step in improving your product. However, it's not always possible to prioritize every feature request that comes your way. 

Feedback duplication is another challenge that can take away your time. With Zeda.io, while submitting feedback on customer portals and widgets, customers can avoid submitting duplicate feature requests by upvoting similar requests that have already been submitted by other users. This feature by Zeda.io helps identify the most popular requests based on the number of upvotes they receive, thereby facilitating your feature prioritization process.

Once you decide to work on a feature request, users can easily track its progress and stay updated on its status through widgets and portals. This level of transparency helps customers feel valued and encourages them to submit more feedback to aid product development. You know what the best way part? This process is fully automated. Isn’t that cool?

Manage the Entire Feedback Cycle

Zeda.io is an efficient feedback management tool that streamlines the entire feedback cycle, from the initial collection of feedback to the final step of closing the feedback loop. With this platform, managing feedback has never been easier or more effortless.

Conclusion

Placing customer feedback at the center of the product discovery process is not just a strategy, it's a necessity in today’s customer-driven market. Tools like Zeda.io offer a comprehensive solution to make this a reality. By effectively collecting, analyzing, and acting on customer feedback, you can ensure that your product evolves in line with user needs and stays ahead of market trends. 

The continuous cycle of feedback and improvement fostered by such tools leads to products that are not only technically sound but also deeply resonate with users. In the end, the goal is to create a product that customers love, and for that, their voice needs to be the guiding force in your product discovery journey. So now is the right time to check out the cool features of Zeda.io- check out the product for free now!

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Product Management

Placing Customer Voice at the Heart of Product Discovery Process

Athira V S
Content Writer
January 8, 2024
13 mins read
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IN THIS ARTICLE:
  1. What are product discovery techniques?
  2. 8 key product discovery techniques link
  3. Conclusion
IN THIS ARTICLE:
  1. What are product discovery techniques?
  2. 8 key product discovery techniques link
  3. Conclusion

The market and technology are constantly evolving. If your product fails to adapt to these changes, it may become obsolete. This is obviously undesirable. So, what can you do? The solution is simple: implement a product discovery process.

When preparing to launch a product, most businesses conduct research, product validation, prototype building, etc, to get a general idea of whether the product will succeed. However, after a point, some completely wave goodbye to the product discovery process, which pushes their product downhill. 

Hence, doing product discovery isn’t just enough. It has to be continuous, period!

Furthermore, to take it a step further, it is essential to keep the voice of the customer at the heart of the entire product discovery process. This article will help you do just that!

What is Product Discovery Process?

Imagine you're a chef trying to create a new, crowd-pleasing dish. The product discovery process is similar - it's all about understanding what your customers crave. This iterative process involves identifying the problems your customers face and using this insight to whip up a product that they'll love.

Product discovery is an iterative process where you identify the problems you want to solve for your customers to ensure the success of your product. Making product discovery a part of your product development process is important to build products that resonate with your users and drive revenue to your business. 

Moreover, this process helps product teams decide which features or products to prioritize and build, thereby laying the groundwork for achieving product excellence. 

The emergence of product discovery can be traced back to the early 2000s, coinciding with the rise of Agile methodologies and user experience (UX) design, which shifted the focus of product development from internal business needs to customer desires.

Why is Product Discovery Important?

Avoids Risks

It steers you clear of potential pitfalls in usability, feasibility, value, and aligning with business needs. Product discovery process helps you get past all these risks and helps you make informed decisions that are aligned with your customer and business needs. 

Since you will engage in product validation cycles, you will able to identify the risks before and can make due course corrections and iterate till it works. 

Ensures Product-Market Fit

A core goal of product discovery is to find product-market fit. This involves understanding the main problems customers face and creating solutions that are both desired and viable in the market. Product-market fit is essential for the success and sustainability of a product in the competitive marketplace.

Avoids Feature Factory Mindset

Engaging in a continuous product discovery process is the best way to stay out of the feature factory mindset. Product discovery informs your decisions through proper validation, and you don’t end up building products that nobody uses. Focuses on solving customer problems rather than merely developing features.

Resource Optimization and Time Efficiency

Product discovery involves identifying the most pressing needs and problems of users. This understanding allows product teams to concentrate their efforts on developing features and products that directly address these issues. By focusing on what truly matters to the user, teams can avoid wasting time and resources on less impactful aspects of the product.

Improves Stakeholder Alignment

With product decisions grounded in user research and data, there's a stronger alignment among team members and stakeholders. This alignment ensures that product development is not driven by assumptions or biases but by real user needs.

Steps in the Product Discovery Process

The product discovery process is a critical phase in product management that ensures the development of successful, user-centered products. This process involves several key steps, each contributing to a deeper understanding of customer needs and effective product solutions. Here's a detailed overview of these steps:

Feedback Collection and User Research 

Talking to your customers and collecting their insights is crucial in the product discovery process and in developing your product. 

You gather qualitative and quantitative data about user needs and behavior when conducting user research, such as surveys, interviews, and product usage analysis. This helps you pinpoint the throbbing pain points of your users, guiding you seamlessly from the problem space to the solution space.

 Prioritizing the user voice here isn't just good practice; it's the key to elevating the quality of your product. 

Identify Problems and Prioritize

It is important to gather customer insights to identify the most common problems they face. One way to achieve this is by mapping the opportunity space, categorizing the problems based on different themes, and aligning them with the business strategy and objectives.

However, not all user problems can be addressed simultaneously. Therefore, it is necessary to prioritize issues based on their alignment with the product vision and business objectives. To assist in this process, tools such as the Kano Model or Opportunity Solution Tree (OST) can be useful.

Product Ideation

In this stage, brainstorming sessions are conducted to generate a wide range of solution ideas. Techniques like story mapping, brainstorming, and mind mapping are used to encourage creative thinking and explore various solution options.

It is advisable to brainstorm individually before you come together and brainstorm together as a team. This would generate more creative solutions for your customers. You can also practice brainwriting with your team and then discuss those solutions together as a team to make informed decisions. 

Validate Product and Feature Ideas

Ideas generated during ideation are validated to ensure they are feasible and effectively address user problems. Techniques like fake door testing, A/B testing, and feedback widgets can be used for validation.

Prototype and Test

The next step is to develop and test prototypes with users. This includes creating mockups clickable prototypes, or observing users using similar products. The aim is to refine the prototypes based on user feedback and develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for further testing. 

This will help you to make iterations or, altogether, understand the success rate that the product would have. Moreover, this can help you comprehend the 

Align with Stakeholders

This involves presenting the validated product ideas and data to stakeholders to gain their buy-in and support. Effective communication of both quantitative and qualitative data is key in this step. 

Continuous Discovery

Product discovery is an ongoing process that should continue throughout the product lifecycle. Regular check-ins with users and stakeholders ensure that the product remains aligned with user needs and market trends. 

Making Customer Voice the Centre of Product Discovery

It's undisputed that for the product discovery process to thrive, having direct access to your customers' unfiltered opinions and feedback is non-negotiable. Yet, the common hurdle faced by product teams, much like yours, is the absence of a systematic process to initiate and cultivate this crucial feedback loop. This section unfolds solutions tailored to address this challenge.

Feedback Collection & Centralization

To receive honest feedback from your customers about your product, it is crucial to have a smooth and hassle-free feedback mechanism in place. This will allow your customers to reach out to you easily in case they face any issues while using your product or have any suggestions to improve it.

Enter Zeda.io’s customer portal and widgets—a dynamic duo streamlining feedback collection and organization. 

Customer Portal

Zeda.io offers a customer portal that is ideal for capturing customer feedback. With this tool, you can create custom boards and easily categorize feedback, even if you have multiple product lines or customer segments. Additionally, you can set restrictions on who can view the feedback, which improves the efficiency of centralizing feedback. In short, this tool provides a personalized space for collecting customer feedback.

In-app Widgets

If you want to offer your customers a hassle-free feedback submission experience, this is the ideal choice for you. With this option, users can effortlessly take screenshots and record videos to accompany their feedback or requests. This enables you to capture the essence of their feedback and better understand their needs.

There’s an interesting addition to these: you can easily customize the look and feel of your portal and widgets to match your brand's requirements, ensuring that customers remain connected to the product and enhancing their overall feedback experience.

Zeda.io provides a centralized view of the feedback collected from widgets and portals, making it easier to determine your next steps and decide what to build next.

Feedback Management Automation

Understanding your customers' requirements is crucial for a successful product discovery process. As a product manager, you may find yourself spending a lot of time on manual operational tasks, instead of focusing on your core responsibilities. Thus, finding time to gather meaningful feedback can be a daunting task.

That's where Zeda.io's automation comes in handy. It saves you time and effort, providing you with valuable insights that make your job easier and more efficient.

With the ability to categorize features based on themes and AI-generated sub-themes, identifying critical customer issues becomes a breeze. Whenever customers share their feedback through widgets and portals, it automatically updates the dashboard. Valuable data such as company, user name, and revenue impact will be reflected on the dashboard, streamlining the feedback prioritization process.

Moreover, when aligning feedback with features, our AI-generated feature suggestions save you time from creating features for feedback.

With Zeda.io, you can effortlessly keep your customers informed about the progress through your portals, widgets, and notifications. When customer feedback is implemented, they receive a notification, and they are automatically notified through an email when the feature is shipped. Moreover, customers can view real time status of their feedback through customer portals and widgets. This helps you keep your customers' voices heard throughout the product development process, enriching your product discovery process.

Feedback to Feature Development

Transforming customer feedback into product features is a crucial step in improving your product. However, it's not always possible to prioritize every feature request that comes your way. 

Feedback duplication is another challenge that can take away your time. With Zeda.io, while submitting feedback on customer portals and widgets, customers can avoid submitting duplicate feature requests by upvoting similar requests that have already been submitted by other users. This feature by Zeda.io helps identify the most popular requests based on the number of upvotes they receive, thereby facilitating your feature prioritization process.

Once you decide to work on a feature request, users can easily track its progress and stay updated on its status through widgets and portals. This level of transparency helps customers feel valued and encourages them to submit more feedback to aid product development. You know what the best way part? This process is fully automated. Isn’t that cool?

Manage the Entire Feedback Cycle

Zeda.io is an efficient feedback management tool that streamlines the entire feedback cycle, from the initial collection of feedback to the final step of closing the feedback loop. With this platform, managing feedback has never been easier or more effortless.

Conclusion

Placing customer feedback at the center of the product discovery process is not just a strategy, it's a necessity in today’s customer-driven market. Tools like Zeda.io offer a comprehensive solution to make this a reality. By effectively collecting, analyzing, and acting on customer feedback, you can ensure that your product evolves in line with user needs and stays ahead of market trends. 

The continuous cycle of feedback and improvement fostered by such tools leads to products that are not only technically sound but also deeply resonate with users. In the end, the goal is to create a product that customers love, and for that, their voice needs to be the guiding force in your product discovery journey. So now is the right time to check out the cool features of Zeda.io- check out the product for free now!

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