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Innovation requires a common understanding of customer needs

Customer Strategy Consulting - Innovation GapAccording to a recent study among members of the Indiana Business Council there is a gap in how CEOs feel they are doing relative to innovation compared to non-CEOs. While this study is limited to members of the Indiana Business Council, I suspect this finding would be consistent across other markets.

One of the challenges that organizations face when it comes to innovation is a common understanding of customer needs, throughout all aspects of the organization. Individuals in different departments, levels, and geographies have different opinions of what customers want and what customers need.

Think about this for a moment.

If there isn’t a common understanding of the customer need how can innovations be successful? Odds are, they won’t. The innovation process will continue to fall short because it will take too long, target a customer need that is already being fulfilled, or the value of the innovation will not be reflective of what customers are willing to pay.

Walker works with customer focused organizations to bring the innovation process closer to the customer and equally important, to create a common understanding of the customer throughout the enterprise. Through this process, product, service, and process innovation are improved to increase customer retention and grow market share.

If you are struggling with innovation within your organization, ask yourselIf, "Is there a common understanding of customer needs throughout my organization?" If the answer is "No," you’ll know where to start.

About the Author

Leslie Pagel

Leslie Pagel

As vice president of customer experience, Leslie is responsible for incorporating the voice of Walker’s customers into the solutions development process. To do this, Leslie spends the majority of her time interacting with Walker account teams, clients, and prospective clients to understand their business challenges. She coordinates several listening posts that are used to drive strong client relationships and enhance our consulting and technology capabilities.

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