To Improve Your Customer Experience, Start by Walking Backwards
As the benchmark of being a customer-centric company, Amazon’s approach to developing new products begins with “walking backwards.” Ian McAllister, Director of Amazon Day and former Director of Amazon Smile, explains: “Walking backwards begins by “[trying] to work backwards from the customer, rather than starting with an idea for a product and trying to bolt customers onto it.”
The process, which at first may sound simple, requires an Amazon product manager to write an internal press release announcing the new product. As McAllister explains, “Internal press releases are centered around the customer problem, how current solutions (internal or external) fail, and how the new product will blow away existing solutions.”
“If the benefits listed don’t sound very interesting or exciting to customers, then perhaps they’re not (and shouldn’t be built).” Which requires the manager to continue to iterate the customer benefits of the press release until its improved. Which is a lot faster and far less expensive than building the product.
By walking in the footsteps of your customer, you’ll be able to uncover unforeseen insights and ways to improve or address gaps in customer service.
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