“Albert Einstein said, ‘If I only had one hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes defining the problem, and the remaining 5 solving it.’ Understanding the problem is the most important step in building a product.”

In our free eBook, The Path to Product Excellence: Stories and Advice from the Field, Pendo’s Chief Product Officer, Brian Crofts, talks about how you need to fall in love with the problem, not the solution. To do this, you can’t just sit around in the office all day analyzing data and making assumptions about your customers.

You need to get out and, not just talk to them, but fully converse with them to truly understand the problems they’re facing. After getting to know what’s affecting your customers, it’s important to reflect on that conversation and to make sure those reflections are understood across the entire team. That’s how you create customer empathy across the entire organization.

“Don’t just go into the field alone. I bring my team members from design and engineering. Big problems are incredibly motivating, and I want the whole team to empathize with our customers. After each visit, we debrief immediately. I’ll ask, ‘what surprised you?’ and ‘what pain did you see?’ This is a great time to synthesize and formulate insights. You’re ready to move from problem to solution only when your team can clearly articulate the pain through customer stories.”

And Brian’s team truly lives this idea. He has a pretty wild story about how one of his colleagues was so driven by their customer’s problem, that he pretty much left in the middle of the meeting to solve it! To hear that story and more stories and advice from product experts such as Dan Olsen, Kat Kennedy, and Hiten Shah, download our eBook!

Monty Mitra Feb 26, 2019