Customer-Driven Needs: Innovation in Services

882 Words4 Pages
While some innovations come about as a response to customer needs or demands, often the most valuable innovations are those for which the customer is not yet aware of the need. After all, if the need is known to the customer, then it will be known to not only your company but your competitors as well. If, however, a company can fill a need before that need has been identified, then it will be in an excellent competitive position. Fostering innovation in services is often in direct response to a customer need, but there are strategies that firms can undertake to innovate even before the customers are aware of what they need. Customer-driven needs typically are incremental to the existing service. If a company wants to move beyond incremental improvements to true innovation, there are a few techniques for doing this. There is a slightly different mindset to this type of innovation. The service innovation needs to be viewed as a solution to a customer need. There is an assumption in innovation literature that customers cannot express their needs (Ohr, 2011). For a firm that wants to press forward with innovation, it therefore needs to anticipate customer needs. One technique that is used by some innovators is to have the staff put themselves in the position of the customer. This can result in a string of beta-products that then must be tested to see if they genuinely meet customer needs, or if they need to be scrapped or reformed. Such a technique can result in hit
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