How to stay customer-centric in the AI era?

February 12, 2024
Dana Vetan

At the office, we're totally caught up in the AI bubble. It's all anyone talks about. Everyone's got these killer ideas on how to use it to revolutionize stuff. And of course, everyone wants to be the hero who pulls it off.

Just earlier today, I found myself amidst an intense debate about building an AI-powered CRM. The product team was all fired up, diving deep into the talk. They were hashing out stuff about the customers, their journey – quickly trying to see things from the user's perspective. Then, they circled back to AI and brainstormed how to make it work. After a couple of hours of back and forth, they reached an agreement, jotted down some key points, and decided that a more detailed plan and another sit-down with the team was up next. Satisfied with their progress, they looked forward to leveraging AI to create a superior CRM solution.

While everyone was happy with the outcomes of the meeting, critical questions seemed to be missing from the discussion:

  • How do we know if our CRM will truly outperform existing options on the market?
  • How can we validate that it will actually make users faster, more efficient, and provide a better overall experience?
  • Will users trust the AI-powered dashboard?
  • Are we addressing the most pressing problems users face?

Every time we get our hands on a new technology, a new tool, a new machine, we focus on how we can use it, how we can understand it, how we can adapt to it. It's part of our survival instinct. We try to put it into contexts and situations that we are familiar with and adapt to it.

This explains the technology-first approach. It's natural for us to focus on understanding and utilizing new technologies when they become available. However, it can lead to overlooking the real needs and desires of customers, users.

We've seen this play out in numerous business and product failures, such as the infamous case of the Segway PT, where cutting-edge technology failed to meet consumer demands. Despite the current excitement surrounding AI, simply possessing the technology and knowing how to use it isn't enough to guarantee success in the market.

We believe that true innovation should always prioritize understanding people and their needs, and how technology can serve those needs.

In our recent webinar, we discussed a straightforward framework for aligning business goals, customer needs, and technology capabilities. By bringing these elements into harmony and using the power of collaboration, we can formulate hypotheses to test in the real world. With this approach, deciding how to leverage technology becomes a much more manageable task.

Join us in the webinar for a deeper dive into this framework and its application.