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For experts like product managers, CX leaders or innovation managers, work can sometimes feel like living in a silo. Often, they are individuals missing counterparts within the same organization. And since our network as a customer experience studio is huge, we came up with the idea of organizing Circle of Trust events. The premise is simple. Up to 10 experts meet in one room to autopsy a CX-related challenge with a support of LB* facilitator who makes ground for a safe discussion.

Our June topic was exploration or discovery. We get feedback regularly from researchers and product owners in our partnered companies about their struggles exploring new ideas for better customer experience. So we decided to seat experts from telco, banking, retail and power engineering in the circle and “explore” the topic.

“Even when we didn’t achieve what we intended in the exploration phase, it is still a success. We now have more data on what the customer doesn’t consider important.” – participant

Discovery is a broad topic which can mean a lot of things, so we started off with settling on a definition. In the conclusion we came to, exploration includes:

  • Understanding the customer and discovering their needs
  • Coming up with new ideas and innovations to support company’s business
  • Looking at different industries and searching for benchmarks, working with data

Coming up with new features or product ideas from behind a closed door is the complete opposite of exploration. Before you start with discovery phase, we highly recommend reading 10 Commandments of Product Discovery too. If you already utilize the discovery phase, and find yourself in a similar struggle as our attendees, the fact is you are doing great.

According to the global research by NNg, only 32% percent of companies incorporate exploration in their product vision or business strategy, and our CX maturity research confirmed this applies to 30% of Slovak companies.

“Try to pitch your idea to two other people. If you can defend your point and you come to an agreement, then your idea is probably worth a try.” – participant

The most interesting topic to the majority of attendees turned out to be How to collect feedback from users and come up with new ideas? In just two hours, we identified and exchanged experiences with various ways to tackle the problem of collecting customer feedback and acting on it. These were used in real life cases by the participants:

1. Creating personas with different approaches

It allows you to step outside of the box and think about how they view different problems. For inspiration, here is a nice article about creating personas with templates.

2. Collecting feedback from customers through chat or customer support

3. Having an internal platform where employees can post their ideas and thoughts

4. Examining new ideas using A/B tests

Keep in mind that sometimes the results can be very close. It’s therefore important to have a sample that is big enough. To figure out the significance of data, you can use an A/B calculator.

5. Rapid idea validation with the fake door test

You show the users an option that doesn’t exist yet. After they take the action, the system lets them know that this feature or product / service is not yet available. By measuring how many of the potential users showed interest, we can gather proof it’s worth building. You can find 28 more proven tests like this one to validate your idea in our popular Experiment Toolbox handbook.

6. Doing a review of competition on both local and international level

Use what is already out there to gather data. It can also be a good way to cross-check insights you generated during interviews.

7. Knowledge sharing with stakeholders / product owners in different organizations

Get in touch and make a field visit to other companies, even in foreign countries. You can connect with them via LinkedIn, at local meetups or in professional groups on various social media. Or just become a member of our Circle of Trust and meet with your peers regularly. If you’re a fan of the concept, let us know, we get you a seat.

Hungry for more? Read our Product Discovery Guide next. It will walk you through a 7-step process that maximizes your chances for successful product launch.

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