Continuous concentration on customers

‘Big ideas’ are important — but sometimes the trick is to simply concentrate on your customers continuously and they will actually give you the gains that you are seeking as you build out a solution.

In onlineapplication.io we build mortgage and insurance solutions for brokers, banks and life companies, while our solution has always started (and always will remain committed to) the consumer journey, our actual paying customers are brokers, banks and insurers.

To serve them you need to make their process better in terms of time saved, cost reduction, feature enrichment and innovative faster fixes.

That’s why our mission is to ‘make mortgages and insurance easier, faster and better for everybody’, every constituent has to ‘win’ to really make it happen.

This is where we turn to continuous customer concentration. We have a team member who’s only jobs is to talk to customers and through a combination of training and feedback deliver (1) higher customer engagement and understanding of our tech — because when you build fintech it still requires some learning even though we focus on simplicity, and (2) to listen across varied customers for repeated queries and ideas.

The second item cannot be overstated in importance. If you have several paying customers all talking about the same thing then chances are there is an opportunity for a ‘killer feature’ to develop.

When we encounter these things we sometimes hold a small workshop or talk to the customers on a single basis to do a round-robin on why something matters and what they would do if they were given the job of fixing the issue.

After that we sit down and turn these ideas into algorithms and working technology which are delivered in tight sprints so that we can show a rapid minimum viability. This is normally a solution that isn’t fully fit for purpose (sadly) but is a step in the right direction.

We seek the customer view of whatever the fix is, how it might work better, change, adapt or tie in with other features, and in doing so we get closer to the actual solution that is required and the one that delivers the highest customer value.

This all came about through the mashing of many business approaches from agile development to servant leadership and the creation of customer feedback loops.

Does it work? Yes, it certainly does and it gets you closer to realizing your clients deepest needs than is otherwise possible.

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