clock-272483_640Take a look at your cell phone. You do have one, right? It seems like everyone has a cell phone these days, and they range in capability from just making phone calls to standing in for your workstation as you move around in your day. What makes you choose the phone you have? Personal needs? Price? Your techno-geek nature? What really makes you choose is the product's design. Well-designed products get a customer's attention, and can even make a customer change his or her mind about what they're willing to pay. Product design matters.

Product Design and Customer Experience

Though it's not obvious to the end-user of a product, a great deal of thought went into what they just bought. From initial concept to final roll-out, the product's design was the major factor in its production. Poorly designed products don't sell, nor should they. Today's customer is far more savvy than the customer of even ten years ago, and their expectations fuel innovation.

How do you feel, as a customer, when you buy a poorly designed, poorly made product? You feel cheated, for one thing; you paid hard-earned money for something to meet a need, and what you got just doesn't measure up. How do you feel when you buy an average product? Most likely you feel indifferent. If it does the job, that's all that matters. However, as time goes on, your dissatisfaction with the average will grow. How do you feel when you purchase a great product? You feel excited! You are enthusiastic, and can't wait to show it off to family, friends, and coworkers. You sing its praises to anybody who'll listen. What makes you feel this way? The quality of the product, starting with its design.

Product Design and the Small Business

When you start your small business, the world is on your shoulders. You have monumental tasks to address, to keep your doors open and to not go under. You can ease these burdens by planning your business from the ground up, and that includes designing both your product and your customers' experiences.

If you are a manufacturer, you need great product design, to sell your product and keep it selling, with a high level of customer satisfaction. If you are a service provider, your product is your service, and you need to concentrate on the experience your customer has with your business. This means paying attention to customer service, not just providing them with a credit card authorization or a statistical analysis of their social media presence.

Customer Service Is Crucial To Product Design

You have to have a Cracker Jack team of customer service reps, to handle problems, to explain the results the customer received, to keep the customer loyal and happy. This means not sending your help desk to India. This means paying your customer service reps a fair wage or better; they have the job that can raise your business to new heights, or that can kill your business dead. You might make the best cell phone in existence, but if your customer service is bad, you won't sell enough to keep the doors open.

The customer experience is paramount. You want your customers to feel superior because they bought your product or service. This means investing heavily in product design, and also investing heavily in your customer service department. A great product won't save you if your customer service stinks. Conversely, a great customer service department can save you from a production gaffe and keep your customers coming back. It's worth the effort, surely.