A key step in our process is identifying customer painpoints with our customers. We are always talking about finding customer painpoints but, once you have done that, what next?
During our innovation workshop, after we have agreed and listed all the customer’s problems, there is usually a big “Aha” moment as the participants realise the things they should be focusing on – the things that, if they fix them, will move the needle. At the same time, there is a concern: now we know the painpoints, how do we fix them. We have a simple technique that zeroes in on what we need to change. Every time we have done this exercise with clients, next steps have become obvious.
Once we’ve agreed the main customer painpoints – i.e. the ones that are both important to the customer, and where the company is not doing well – and created a list of all the processes that might impact on those painpoints, we get a large piece of paper, and write the processes in one column on the left, and the painpoints in one column on the right.
We then go through each process, and ask whether it can impact on painpoint 1, painpoint 2, and so on. If yes, we draw a line between the process and the painpoint. With the right people in the room, it usually only takes 20 minutes or so.
Et voila, we have a visual representation of which processes to focus on.
There are a couple of caveats here. Firstly, some process improvements are dependent on others – so some infrastructural work may be required. Secondly, we haven’t made an attempt to weight painpoints – that’s relatively easy to do – just allow the participants to allocate 10 points between the painpoints, and weight the lines accordingly.
Having said that, in the times we have used this technique, while the answers have often come out differently from participants’ intuition, everyone has readily agreed with the outcome, so it manifestly short circuits the discussion phase and allow people to get on with “doing”.
For some of our clients going through this process, it meant 30% growth in their business. The next phase is different for every client but, in every circumstance, it has changed and shifted where their attention goes and made them think about how they do things.
If you use this technique, let us know how it goes.
If you want to know more about this technique, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to chat more about this.