A common flaw in customer understanding
Do you ever notice how some executives say “users” when they mean “I”? For example, you might have heard an executive make an assertion about “what users really want.” Make a quick substitution, and it becomes “what I really want.”
“Users want feature X,” where X is the executive’s pet project, might be better stated as “I want feature X.”
Dislike works as well: for example, “Users don’t like skeumorphic design” turns into “I don’t like skeumorphic design.”
This obviously represents a flawed understanding of what users want. Yet it’s common enough, and some executives even defend this way of thinking. “I use our product, so I’m a customer myself,” they say, “and so what I want is, by definition, what the customer wants.”
Let’s state a rule of thumb: if you’re inside the company, you don’t represent the customer. You might use the product, the app, the service, whatever, outside working hours – but you’re not the customer. You can’t, by yourself, fully understand what customers want.
There’s a better way to understand what users want, and that’s to actually go and find out. You are not the customer. Don’t say “users” when you mean “I.” Instead, get outside the company walls and observe customers directly. You might be surprised at what you discover.
And, as always, contact us if Creative Good can help.