The technological innovation in companies no more is confined to the tech experts hired on its rolls, but it goes beyond that and incorporates the new-age customers. Today the customers are informed and know what they want out of a product. The good thing about the whole scenario is that companies are looking forward to reactions and inputs from the customers; report Nupur Amarnath and Sunanda Poduwal of The Economic Times.
Take for instance, HTC’s advanced feature called the polite ringer installed in the new models of phones by the company. The ringer lowers the volume of the phone when it comes in touch with your hand. Panasonic India modified its original rice cooker once the Indian users told the Panasonic executives that they wanted to cook more than rice in it.
There are many more examples where companies developed or revised their products based on consumer feedback. For the companies, feedback from their customers is no more a reactive opinion on product action but rather a more consequential proactive creation.
The process of company-customer interaction to build better products is moving online as well. Godrej has created a fully virtual world for consumer iterations. On similar lines, German car-maker Volkswagen runs a website wherein customers can contribute to the design process.
Almost all the companies are making use of social media to reach out to the consumers. Some of them, like Hindustan Unilever (HUL) have gone to the extent of initiating customer interaction through a kiosk, aptly called Voices. This enables the employees to hear real consumer interaction on the kiosk enabled through videos and live videocasts.
The end result is a happy situation for the both the company and the consumer. The products are better and benefit the end user thereby creating a good image for the company. The Lava Alpha phones with ABCD keypad are living example of what customer interaction could lead to. SN Rai, Co-Founder and Director, Lava Mobiles says of the innovation, "Our customers, especially in the Hindi heartland, who weren’t computer-savvy, told us they had problems typing on the QWERTY keypads."
Customer intervention is commonplace now across all the verticals. This gives power to you, the consumer, to decide what is best for you and what you want the product maker to deliver. Use the power with responsibility and create better products.