Customer-Centric Product Development
By: Archana Punnoose, Product Development Manager at Litmus Automation
In this current era of abundant data-driven products, it’s easy for companies to become disconnected from the real people who use their products. However, how that data can be used to shape the customer experience should be a key focus for any Industry 4.0 company.
At Litmus Automation, we focus on our customers directly. We make sure our products bring value to our customers by incorporating them into our design and development process. As Product Manager, I have the pleasure of making this happen by interacting and listening to our customers on a daily basis. I thought it might be helpful for others to hear about the success we’ve had incorporating customer feedback into product development so they can develop a more customer-centric approach.
All of our products are customer-centric, and with every new product update we add features that have been requested by our customers. We just released LoopEdge 2.0, and the number one thing our customers have been asking for is out-of-the-box analytics components. So we added those. It’s as simple as that.
LoopFlows is the dashboard for LoopEdge. One of the simple features we added to LoopFlows was easy drag-and-drop dashboard construction, which allows a customer to configure a dashboard in only a few minutes rather than spending their time figuring out a set up that works not only for themselves, but others who share the same work station. We came up with this dashboard design when we worked with a manufacturing plant that had many plant floor employees using LoopFlows. Each plant floor employee became accustomed to their own dashboard layouts between shifts. The simple drag-and-drop detail added to LoopFlows made everyone, not just management, content with their own preferred user experience with LoopFlows.
Here are the basic steps we take at Litmus Automation for customer-centric product development:
1. First, we try to understand the pain points for our customer’s current working environment and complex manufacturing challenges. We speak with everyone, from plant floor employees to upper management. Thisapproach is rooted deep into customer empathy, idea generation, and experimentation.
2. Then, once we uncover and understand a problem or opportunity, we address it by including this customer feedback loop in our agile product development.
3. The process continues as we build and test features in an iterative manner. Each iteration delivers a minimally viable product. Generally, this process is implemented during a two week sprint cycle.
4. Once tested, we incorporate these customer feature requests into our product roadmaps.
We prefer to focus on the customer journey as opposed to process workflow. Not only does this make my role at Litmus Automation exciting and interesting, but it provides a far better product for our customers compared to larger Industrial IoT companies. Years into developing our products, we see the positive results of our approach, not only for our current customers, but for prospective customers as well. We look forward to building on top of our approach, while keeping customer-centric product development at the forefront of our development process.