Constant technological advances have created new needs and consumption patterns in users, which has forced companies to run to catch up in this regard. The path of many businesses has been to adapt their products and services, while others have decided to develop software products from scratch, to fully adapt to the market and respond to customer demands.
In a study by the Harvard Business School, led by Professor Clayton Christensen, they indicated that approximately 30,000 products are launched on the market each year, and at least 95% of them fail.
Likewise, in statistics shared by the Market Research Association, only 40% of the products launched by companies tend to survive in the market. Both these statistics and those shared by Harvard are troubling, and leads us to the next question: What is necessary for successful software product development? Customer feedback.
One of the big mistakes that companies make, regardless of their size or industry, is to start product development without taking into account the vision of the end customer. A company must make a previous study of the behavior and needs of the users and use this data to complement the creation of its software product.
Customer feedback is essential for the successful product development. It helps to understand the needs of the market, continuously improve the product, validate ideas, retain customers and obtain a competitive advantage. By actively listening to customers and leveraging their feedback, companies can develop more relevant and satisfying products, contributing to long-term success.
We will talk about several factors that show the importance of customer feedback in the development of software products:
Customer feedback helps identify needs and problems faced by users. This allows developers to better understand market requirements and tailor their product to meet those specific needs. By understanding customer expectations and demands, developers can prioritize the most relevant features and functionality, increasing the product's chances of success.
“Customer feedback provides valuable information about what customers want and need from a product, how well a product is performing, and how it can be improved. By using customer feedback, product managers can make data-driven decisions that will drive product success and ensure their products meet their customers' needs."
they explained in a UX Collective article.
Customer feedback provides valuable information about the strengths and weaknesses of the product. Customer feedback allows developers to identify areas for improvement and fix potential bugs or shortcomings. This constant feedback helps to continually iterate and improve the product, resulting in a stronger and more satisfying user experience.
Getting early feedback from customers can help validate ideas and concepts before investing time and resources in full product development. Feedback can reveal if an idea is viable and if it really addresses the needs of users. This allows developers to make adjustments or pivot if necessary, saving time and avoiding bringing an unsuitable product to market.
"Analyzing users helps to identify the features and functionalities of greatest concern to them, allows to discover weak points, provides useful ideas for product improvement and allows to detect which are the most viable investments depending on the target audience", they narrowed down in an Innovation Cloud article.
By involving customers in the development process and taking their suggestions into account, a sense of ownership and loyalty to the product is created. Customers appreciate when their voice is heard and their opinions are taken into account, which strengthens the relationship between the company and its customers. This can result in increased customer retention and the generation of positive recommendations, which contributes to the long-term success of the product. Read our blog about: 5 things you didn't know about custom software development.
Customer feedback can provide valuable information about the competition and market expectations. By understanding how the product is positioned compared to competitors and what features are valued by users, developers can adjust their strategy and differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Customer feedback can help identify opportunities to excel and develop strong competitive advantages.
By not involving end customers in the development process, there is a risk that the product will not really meet the needs of the market. This can lead to low user interest and difficulties in attracting and retaining customers. Without understanding the expectations and requirements of the customers, it is difficult to create a product that is relevant and successful in the market.
Here are other consequences:
Bad user experiences
Lack of feedback from end customers can result in a poor user experience. Users may encounter difficulties using the product, experience frequent errors, or not find the features they need. This can lead to frustration and a negative perception of the product, which affects adoption and user satisfaction.
Usability and functionality issues
Without the involvement of end customers, usability and functionality issues in the product are more likely to occur. Developers can miss important things that only users can identify. This can result in confusing interfaces, unintuitive workflows, or features that don't meet user expectations. These problems can seriously affect the quality and usefulness of the product.
Investments of time and wasted resources
Developing a product without the involvement of end customers can lead to wasted investment of time and resources. If the product does not meet the needs of the users, it is likely that it will require significant modifications or even a complete redesign. This can mean launch delays, additional costs, and wasted previous efforts. In addition, it can also affect the company's reputation and its ability to compete effectively in the marketplace.
Developing a software product without considering end customers can have serious consequences, such as lack of market fit, poor user experiences, usability and functionality issues, wasted investments, and missed opportunities for innovation. It is essential to involve customers from the beginning and obtain their feedback to ensure the success and acceptance of the product in the market.