Product Mastery Now for Product Managers, Leaders, and Innovators

Product Mastery Now for Product Managers, Leaders, and Innovators


TEI 321: How product managers can delight customers – with Chip Bell

February 08, 2021

Secrets for working with customers to create products they will love
This podcast is getting a new name to better reflect our objective here—helping product managers become product masters. That new name is Product Masters Now.
You don’t need to do anything to keep listening, but I want you to know the name change is coming in a few weeks, and it will show in your podcast player not as The Everyday Innovator™ but as Product Masters Now.
You are in store for an enriching discussion with someone who has more experience delighting customers than most of us will ever see. You’ll learn a few important tools along with deepening your understanding of what it means to create products customers love.
Helping us with this is Chip R. Bell, who has been ranked for six years in a row as one of the top three keynote speakers in the world on customer service. Bell has appeared on multiple TV networks, and his work has been featured in several prominent publications.
Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers
[2:18] What is co-creation?
Co-creation is a partnership of creating collaboratively. I’ll be discussing the application of co-creation between a customer and an organization. The customer and the organization work together with equal license to make contributions to the product. Many organizations make products for the customer, but in co-creation, you’re making products with the customer. It’s a win-win partnership.
[3:47] How do you find co-creation partners?
Good co-creation partners have a need and the knowledge to contribute effectively. For example, a contributor to an electronic device needs to have knowledge about electronics. Choose a partner who can make a contribution in a way that’s unique and different from how you would normally approach the problem.
Another group of contributors are catalysts. For instance, I might bring in third graders who will ask questions that stimulate product development. They don’t have the expertise to create a product, but they will help us break out of our normal way of thinking. Talk to people like drivers or security guards in your company; they have a different viewpoint and can often bring intelligence you might otherwise miss. A friend of mine who manages a hotel got valuable insights from taxi drivers about what customers liked and disliked about the hotel.
[10:44] What are the five secrets for creating co-creation partnerships?
For many years I’ve worked in customer service innovation. In contrast to value-added innovation, customer service innovation is value-unique—it’s all about creating new experiences that your customers will want to tell someone about. I wanted to write another book about this topic, and I decided to focus on including the customer in the innovative process. I found five secrets that the cultures of the most innovative companies share. My book Inside Your Customer’s Imagination is about applying those secrets to a relationship with the customer. The customer’s imagination is a door that can only be opened from the inside. The question is what to do to get the customer to open the door and share their crazy, unique, or unusual insights.
Customer service innovation is about looking for opportunities to add something that delights the customer in an unexpected way. If you involve the customer in this, you get their cool ideas mixed in with your creation, and your customer will be loyal to a product they helped create.
[15:55] Curiosity that uncovers insight
Curiosity is approaching an inquiry without having any clue where it’s going. Normally, when people do customer interviews or focus groups, they are looking for confirmation of something they already expect. Product managers know better than to ask leading questions, but the expected answers are in their heads. Instead,


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