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7 Ways to Involve Your Customers in New Product Development

Turning your latest vision into a new product can leave you feeling accomplished and prolific. However, if the customers don't love the end result, your efforts may have been for naught.

In order to ensure that your target audience members are pleased with the products, consider ways in which you can involve customers in the design and development of new goods.

    According to DevRev, “A converged system of record for work links together every customer conversation, feature request, and new product enhancement.”

    Product Development

    Establish a User Group

    To start a user group, you first need to get more specific with your target audience. If your goal is to improve a product that already exists within the business, consider the demographics and interests of the clients who would most likely be interested in this upgraded item. Another new product development strategy is to start from the ground up.

    Consider which members of your target audience are currently underserved. Putting together a user group of these individuals can help your company to better reach this sector of the market. Make sure to establish an incentive for clients to participate in the user group.


    This is where serendipity comes into play. Serendipity allows you to make a deep connection in the user’s brain. Positive emotions like gratitude and amazement are triggered. When designing for moments of serendipity, it helps to create a strategy that can work in tandem with the establishment of user groups. This next stage of the new product development process can allow a small group of individuals to brainstorm and execute ideas for a new good.

    Then, you can present the results to a larger group of customers to get feedback. For example, the user group might come up with two possible models. You can then take these models and request feedback on the business's social media page.

    Invite Customers to Evaluate New Products

    Before releasing products to the general public, you can allow a select group of customers to try out the items. This strategy is also known as beta testing. In this phase, customers will try out the products and provide your company with feedback. Incentivizing participation can encourage more people to participate. The feedback can help you to determine if the product is ready for general sales or if further improvements are needed.

    Work in Partnership with Customers

    Let customers know that you value their feedback. Interact with these individuals in an open way. Sending out mass emails to thousands of clients at once isn't necessarily going to generate the most positive feedback.

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    Instead of this impersonal approach, establish meetings with customers through collaborative technology. Even if customers live in different parts of the country or world, you can still meet virtually.

    Understand Your Customers' Markets and Strategies

    While knowing your own target audience members thoroughly is pivotal when it comes to working with customers, you also must understand information about the clients of your customers. Ultimately, you are serving both markets when your business creates new products.

    Asking for information regarding the target audiences of your businesses is useful. Make sure to keep this information on file. Also, you can examine where your target audiences overlap. The overlapped segment of customers and individuals who are just on the cusp of that overlap can be the people you should target.

    Anticipate and Meet Customer Demands

    Show that you're thinking ahead in terms of what your customers are going to want next and what products might interest them. This approach involves understanding human wants and the technology that creates algorithms to address those desires.

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    Considering the past products that clients have purchased from your business is one effective strategy. Also, analyze any trends or changes in purchase histories. Examining what your client's customers want is also a useful approach here.


    You can also ask customers to submit developed models of their ideas. This approach can inspire a competitive drive in clients who want their models to be selected from the lot. Further, providing customers with the tools necessary to create clear and crisp models is empowering and provides clients with the agency. This process also allows you to review a host of different ideas. The final model, for example, might incorporate pieces from different submissions. In this way, submitting can act as a collaborative process among customers who never even end up meeting or speaking with one another directly.

    Getting customers involved in the design of new products has the ability to be a mutually beneficial arrangement. Your clients can feel empowered and appreciated in knowing that you want their feedback. Further, your business can craft products more geared toward customers' needs.

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