Revolutionizing customer understanding for better software development

Ramki PitchuiyerCo-founder of

It was a busy spring day at work when I received a call from one of our active clients. This special customer has been with our company for many years and has always worked in the service area. To my surprise, he asked me a question about what we do.

I had always thought he was knowledgeable about our software, so his question surprised me. I started explaining the functionality of the software and how it helps in the support area, but he stopped me and said I was completely wrong.

I was even more confused by what he said and for a moment I wondered if he had called the wrong person. However, he went on to explain how our software saved lives. He described how difficult it was for them to reach field hospitals to resolve issues and how the software provided recommendations that enabled them to fix many issues remotely or effectively guide technicians on the ground. Suddenly everything clicked and I was deeply touched by his comments. I later shared his perspective with my team.

As I reflected on our conversation that afternoon, I realized that we hadn’t really understood our customers. We could do a lot more and better if we took the time to understand how our customers and users use our software. It could not be limited to a smattering of functionality and capabilities; We had to go deeper.

Here are some of the insights we gained.

• Empathy: To prioritize building empathy with your customers, actively listen to their feedback and concerns. Engage in meaningful conversations, ask open-ended questions, and show genuine interest in their experiences. Conduct user surveys and interviews to gain valuable insights into their needs and challenges. Put yourself in their shoes and build a software solution that addresses their pain points and improves their overall experience.

• Due diligence: Collect customer feedback through surveys, interviews and social media listening. Analyze feedback to identify common themes and prioritize high-impact suggestions. Refine your software roadmap with customer needs in mind. Foster cross-functional teamwork by engaging stakeholders from product development and customer support to strategize for incorporating customer insights into operational processes and software updates.

Establish clear communication channels for progress sharing and transparency. Regularly review and iterate based on customer feedback, measure impact and look for opportunities for improvement. By actively incorporating customer insights, you show your commitment to delivering a software solution that exceeds expectations.

• Solve problems: To be successful at problem solving, you must identify potential problems and develop short- and long-term solutions. As John Nash, portrayed by Russell Crowe, says in the film A beautiful spirit“The best result would be achieved if everyone in the group did what was best for themselves and the group.”

The combination of customer feedback can benefit the entire user base by applying this principle. Share these valuable insights with your customers. Also, communicate proactively with your customers, engage in collaborative problem-solving discussions, and provide them with actionable guidance to effectively address their challenges.

In our experience, the result has been phenomenal. We have worked closely with customers to gain insights into how users use our product from a process perspective. While we already had insights into the technical aspects of the application, this initiative allowed us to understand the process side and how it applied to their specific scenarios.

Challenges to consider

However, there are also challenges associated with this. A major hurdle one might encounter is the effort required to complete these tasks. It is common for many companies to be reluctant to invest in such profound measures. To streamline your approach, you can plan to select a limited number of customers each quarter and make this part of your customer success scorecard. This allows you to gain deeper insights into different aspects of your software and how it impacts your customers.

While technologies like AI, machine learning, and automation are valuable, they cannot replace the value of actually spending time with customers to understand their processes and explore shared improvements. Human contacts and joint efforts are irreplaceable in improving the customer experience.

We firmly believe in this principle and hope that by sharing our experiences we can inspire you and others to take a customer-centric approach and encourage new ideas in your own endeavors. Remember that technology should always complement and enhance the human touch in customer care and success.

The positive result of a customer-centric approach

Going back to what our client said, let’s fast-forward a few months. Last year our team discussed the importance of ensuring smooth operations for the telecom provider supporting the World Cup in Doha. The interesting thing is that the telecom provider was our client’s customer.

Aware of the importance of this event, the team remained loyal to the customer, proactively supporting them and providing forecasts and on-site assistance when needed. Seeing the pride in their eyes as we helped them run mission-critical systems confirmed the importance of our indirect role.

This story encapsulates the essence of our journey in taking on the initial challenge and experiencing the transformative power of understanding and empathizing with our clients. By marrying technology with real human connection, we are inspired to foster a customer-centric approach and drive innovation in all our endeavors.

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