Episode 18: How To Achieve User-Centered Product Design and Marketing


Charlotte guides us, and describes the importance of user stories and why involving customers in your process consistently delivers better results. With a diverse background and years of experience, Charlotte will share with us, the importance of engaging and getting your customer involved. After listening to this episode, you'll understand when a customer is involved, they are much more invested in the outcome and much more likely to buy your product or solutions, remain a customer and become loyal to your brand.  

Driving growth through a focus on the voice of the customer and agile, user-centered product design, marketing, and sales tools is a  model that works, no matter the industry. Even in an economic slow down. Always think from the customer perspective.

Charlotte has applied this philosophy throughout her career to drive results in a number of industries. Charlotte has leveraged, created, mastered, and shared a number of tools for growth. Learn more about them at www.GrowByVOC.com.

• Strong advocate for leading from the customer perspective.
• Data-driven, continual improvement mindset, always focused on improving the customer experience.
• Research and user-centered product design, marketing strategies and sales tools.
• Strategic writer and visual director with the ability to simplify complexities to create engaging stories.
• Go-to-market strategist and execution lead, with expertise in all launch phases. 

Dan Harris: [00:00:01] Welcome back. Subscribers, loyal listeners and friends of the show and a special welcome to you, the new listener.

Dan Harris: [00:00:09] You've tuned into the minds on B2B podcast. You've decided to spend a few minutes of your day listening to me and our guest. It's my job to make sure it's worth your while. So if that's my job, what's your job? Well, your job is to listen. Stay informed. Learn something new and perhaps run with the new ideas shared [00:00:30] by one of our guests after this episode or after you binged. Subway, reach out to me and let me know how we're doing. I'd love to hear from you. You can reach me at Dan got Paris at mines on dot com. I'd love to hear from you. Tell me what you think about the show. And if you're interested, maybe be on the show because, you know, we say it minds on all of our minds together are better than anyone. Mind alive. All right. Welcome back to Mind Zombie TV.

Dan Harris: [00:00:59] This is Dan here. So [00:01:00] I'm your host and we have a special guest today. I'm very excited to introduce everyone on the podcast as Charlotte O'Neil. Let me give you a little background. So, Charlotte, my friendships work together in a couple of different areas and a couple of different businesses and we just become best friends.

[00:01:17] And we're gonna talk a lot about today about growth. What a growth driver is. Charlotte is going to share some expertise around her R and D background. She has U I/U X product management and then we even [00:01:30] prior to the call had a conversation voice the customer and innovation. So that's going to be up information pack session. And I'd like you to welcome Charlotte to the show. Welcome, Charlotte.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:01:42] Thanks so much, Dan. I'm so excited. Be with everybody today. Thanks for listening.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:01:47] This is a really important topic to me, a voice to the customer and really focusing on how do you grow through innovation and through a really systematic connection to your customer base and making [00:02:00] sure they're involved in your development process and in your your marketing story and your brand story and everything you do to take a new product to launch. You're probably all wondering how do I get the qualifications to sit in the and and talk to you?

Dan Harris: [00:02:16] You just know me. Do you know me? That's it. That's it. No. I think it's good that you can tell people you're your journey, right? That's what people care about. Where do you come from? How did you learn this? What kind of hurdles did you overcome? Challenges did you face? And you [00:02:30] know where you're going? I think those are all emotional things that people can relate to.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:02:35] Absolutely. Yes. So I've been in the the upstream side of the product development and launch cycle for many years in many industries from international high tech working with the Math Works and Universal Instruments to attack in ad publishing with highlights for children and McGraw-Hill education.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:02:55] I have launched I can't even tell you how many products and I I've been involved in [00:03:00] the development from concept and business case all the way to launch for at least 15 product launches in the past 10 years. So there are some things that I've learned from going through that process that really stemmed back to my earliest days in my career that I have told me amazing things happen when you really focus on what customers are telling you. A lot of us call it voice of the customer. Yeah, it's kind of an official term for hey, listen to what they're telling you. You know, watch them in their environment, [00:03:30] learn what problems they're trying to solve. And then if you have a clear understanding of what are the problems you're trying to solve based on the needs of of your customers, then you can go anywhere with that and you can innovate in so many different ways. But I've just seen so many cases where, you know, you have a scenario where you're focusing on features and you're you're developing and launching from an internal perspective versus doing that whole process hand-in-hand with your customers. I can't tell you how much [00:04:00] more powerful it is when you do it with your customer.

Dan Harris: [00:04:02] And I hear stories all the time where major software companies have produced so many features and functions and roll out new new opportunities and new user flows and things like that in the user is only adopting even 10 percent of what that functional that software is. And so it's interesting when you say that, because to create something and build a roadmap that is [00:04:30] technology or engineering focused may succeed. But you're doing a lot of work. When you probably don't need to. Right?

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:04:40] Right. It might be wasted. The worst scenario is you have a software engineer who spending 50 percent of their time on feature A and it gets 5 percent, usage. Yeah. Wouldn't it be better to take the great intellectual capital of that developer and put them on something that is of highest impact to the customer? You bet. So, yeah. And a lot of it is [00:05:00] is really, you know, first understanding what is the customer journey and what problems are they trying to solve. But then you know of the possible solutions and innovations for those problems. Which one or which ones are great? Yeah, you have to kind of put them through a test and say, is it going to have a lot of impact or is it high effort, low impact? If so, let's forget about those. Let's focus on the ones that are maybe low, medium impact on it on the development side, but amazing impact on the customers.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:05:28] Yeah. And I think to the other thing you mentioned [00:05:30] earlier, like attack and, you know, McGraw-Hill and highlights for children. Those are just two industries. But as we've talked, the practice of what you do is not industry specific. Right. It's global. So can you talk about even though you have that experience, that background, how you've kind of determine and create a models to be able to span any industry and make a big difference?

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:05:53] Yeah. You know, it really is the same process I've used over and over again. And it's a lot simpler [00:06:00] than people may think. It's just getting a systematic approach to regularly on an ongoing basis, finding a base of customers that you can reach out to and involve in the development process and make sure that you have clear user stories, you have clear problems to solve.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:06:18] You're always going back to what's the purpose of what I'm doing? Now, who's going to help and why? So I've seen that model work no matter the industry, because ultimately the method is [00:06:30] listen to the market. So get deep, whether it's whether I'm talking to aerospace engineers or, you know, teachers in our pre-K classroom, they all have the ability to articulate what problem they're trying to solve. And if you have a systematic way of getting their feedback on a regular basis, your products and your marketing story are going to be immensely better because of it.

Dan Harris: [00:06:55] Yeah. So you mentioned user stories. Yeah. So give me an example at high [00:07:00] level. What's the user story?

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:07:01] Including a user story that uses stories and user maps and the user maps try to outline what's the journey of the user and the process they go through to use your whatever amazing thing it is. Okay. And user stories get a little more specific.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:07:16] They say I am a software engineer and I need to be able to do this. And then those user stories very clearly for the development team say this is the problem you're trying to solve. What solutions might you be able to develop [00:07:30] to help that customer achieve that goal that is stated in the user story? So it really just helps keep the entire development team anchored in what the customer is trying to do every step of the development process.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:07:42] And I like I like that from the standpoint of whenever you have clear user stories, you also know what the outcome is at the end. Right. And right. If you work backwards from the outcome, there's probably some things you could do away with. Right. Or there's some things you can add. I think that's part of that. As we've talked that's part of [00:08:00] that process I learned from you is just to think about the end result, the outcome that you want, and then the user flow, the user story helps you get there.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:08:08] Absolutely. There's a concept in education that I haven't really heard this term in all the other industries I've worked in. But it's called the End in Mind. Yeah, and it's a philosophy with pedagogy or educational instruction where that you know, the end. You've got to focus on the end goal first and then build backwards to that. It's to [00:08:30] some people it may feel like reverse engineering, but to me it feels like efficient engineering. Yeah. Yeah. Because you're you're focusing you have a clear path that you're headed towards and you're building back from it.

Dan Harris: [00:08:41] Yeah. It applies in anything that you're talking about too. I mean my brother in law is a pilot, right? What does he do? He flies a plane. Well, he also has to be prepared for anything. So he goes into simulators. Right. So they they figured out the outcome of what they want to have happen, figured out how to simulate it. And then he gets tested every year on these various [00:09:00] simulations that happen. So, yeah, it's everything we're talking about applies no matter if you're in education or aerospace.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:09:07] Yeah. And I can't give you an aerospace example sure. You know, when you focus on the promise of the problem they were having at the time was at the aerospace industry, was spending way too much in R and D and prototype testing. So all the prototyping was happening with physical prototypes. Can you imagine the cost of that, especially the more failures you just [00:09:30] reboot more material, more more people on the task of building the next prototype. So the big solution that the. Artworks produced. It was a program called Simulating, which enabled those same engineers at NASA, JPL. All the main auto manufacturers to produce most of their prototyping in a software environment through simulation. So they could get 90 percent there from a prototype perspective. In software without with a fraction of the cost that it was taking them to do [00:10:00] it in the physical environment. So, you know, a simple concept. How do you reduce cost of prototyping solution? Move a lot of that work into a simulated environment.

Dan Harris: [00:10:12] Yeah. And get a get a similar or greater result at the end. Yeah. Which is it's fantastic. So as we talk a little bit more about the voice of the customer. If someone was In an organization right now, and they [00:10:30] heard this podcast go, well, how do I go about starting that program or what's included or what should I do? I think it's always important is to help people understand what the steps are and what they can actually accomplish.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:10:42] Yeah, and you can't accomplish this. You know, it takes a village kind of shift this mindset to always be thinking about the customer and everything you do. But just from my experience, they're the kind of five key things that you can focus on to make some serious movements in the direction of user centered design and user centered marketing. [00:11:00]

[00:11:02] You know, step one in my mind. I mean, let's face it, every innovation right behind that word is the word change. Right. Correct. Yeah. So people some people are comfortable to change. Some people that makes them want to bite their nails off. So you need to understand in the space that you're innovating in, what is the current reality of your customers? Where do you have to move them from to move them to a new, more innovative solution? And that understanding helps not [00:11:30] only give context for all the solutions thing, but it also helps to helps you develop great implementation support for people making that transition to a new a new direction about the customer journey mapping. If you guys haven't heard about it, it's not that complicated. You're really trying to to sketch out, OK. What steps do my customers go through in the buying process, in the decision making process, in an implementation [00:12:00] process and in the each of those steps? What are they thinking? What are they doing? How are they feeling? You know, what are their emotions when they're evaluating programs at the very beginning of that process? Do they have anxiety? Is there anything you can do to help alleviate that anxiety? Know because of, you know, decision paralysis? I'd say also knowing the current customer journey is always also really helpful in having a litmus test for your ideas. So as you go from a [00:12:30] clear articulation of all the problems you're trying to solve and you move into that ideation phase. How can we solve this in an innovative way? The customer journey is your foundation for all those ideas that come out of the creative process. So you can say, OK, I have this wonderful idea for solving this problem. How does it work when they're evaluating a program? Does that work? Also, when they're starting to implement, is it is it helpful when they want to recommend this program to a friend? Yeah. So the [00:13:00] process gives you a constant frame of mind that is very customer first oriented.

[00:13:07] So when you when you say the buyer journey, how does it impact when there's multiple buyers because this is before they've implemented it, before they purchase, when they're considering it. There's five, maybe six people involved. So do you map all five or six? [00:13:25] You can. Yeah, whatever. You know, I say customer journey. It's [00:13:30] really customer journeys. And in the tech space, we certainly have multiple layers of decision makers from the the C suite all the way down to the software engineer. But you know, you could have a journey for the user. You can have a journey for the decision maker if they're very different.

Dan Harris: [00:13:49] Finance. I mean, they're the ones buying it. I ask support, ITV, professional development folks.

Dan Harris: [00:13:55] It is it. And now you mentioned customer journey, but before their customers, [00:14:00] their buyers. Yes. And before that, their prospects. So should those journeys be connected?

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:14:08] Absolutely. OK. I just want to make sure you know what I think customer journey.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:14:13] I think about the entire spectrum from when they first May became aware that there was a solution for this problem. Yeah. All the way through to what their first impression of you was or how they might think about going about evaluating all the possibilities within [00:14:30] that category. And then, you know, all the support that they need as they make their decision. But then a lot of times I think people kind of stop at the buying and I think it's really important from a net promoter score standpoint and from a reputation standpoint to make sure that there is a smooth transition from buying to implementing. So that's that's my recommended step number one. Understand your customer journey. Understand, understand [00:15:00] it deeply and map it out and let it guide you. Everything that you do.

Dan Harris: [00:15:03] Ok, so let's talk a little bit about. As you start to map this out, what are some of the hurdles that you've recognized in organizations where you've been a part of that process and, you know, kind of what? What was the result and what was the experience like? Because I think experience is huge because you start to tell people about what you've seen, what you've done and the result.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:15:27] Yeah, I mean, part part of the hurdle [00:15:30] to, you know, moving to a growth strategy based on voice, a customer is making sure you have the right people in place, making sure you have the right processes for advisory boards and online qualitative research and all of those wonderful things. But it's also, I think at the end of the day boils down to making sure you have enough time because user centered design and, you know, product development and marketing based on voice a customer. It takes more time. But in the end, you're making things easier down the road because [00:16:00] I can tell you, I've seen it time and time again, a product or a solution that is built on the customer wishes and needs. It's going to sell a lot easier. So yeah, it's really putting more time up in the front end to save time and effort later down the road because it's a natural fit for the market, because you've studied and deeply understood their behaviors and their needs and you really got into their shoes from a standpoint of empathy.[00:16:29] Yeah. And I [00:16:30] think that that whole taking your time, creating a plan, working the plan to get that result is is the ultimate. But I know just working with startups and working with younger companies are trying to get to market quickly to compete. They're under a lot of pressure to get something into market. And so they do they prototype and get it into market really quickly, fail fast and sometimes just completely fail because they didn't plan. So I think there's like in anything, there's got to [00:17:00] be a balance, right? Right. And that's why I think from a from this discipline, to be able to have a process that you follow that focuses on the voice of the customer that eliminates all of those hurdles is valuable. But at the same time, let's talk a little bit about how do you overcome that pressure? What kind of things can you do to innovate and get to market faster?

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:17:24] Yeah. And, you know, I do say a user centered approach does take more time and [00:17:30] sometimes you don't have time. So you have to work around it.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:17:35] But what are the things that I've done is repositioned a launch in a way to become a more phased a launch. There you go. So what you can do is get to market with a subset of the product and position it as. Here is our first take on this. We'd love your input and get rich customer feedback on that first beta and then roll out more and tell [00:18:00] it. Tell your market that, hey, what we're rolling out now is gonna be so much better because we talked to a thousand people. Yeah. And you could just sort of spread get buy yourself more time by spreading out the launch in phases.

Dan Harris: [00:18:15] I could see that work really well instead of like pulling it up behind the curtain and not announcing it or releasing it, then just launching it into the world versus progressively introducing it to people and getting feedback on a consistent regular basis creates [00:18:30] champions for your software, your product, your company or whatever. Right.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:18:34] Absolutely. And I think a lot of people feel like that's maybe uncomfortable to do to not have a full product when you launch. Yeah, but it actually does two positive things. One, it gives you an opportunity to get rich market feedback as you develop, but it also kind of provides a teaser for the market. Yeah. You know, there's kind of a hey, what are you guys up to feeling? If you're just [00:19:00] letting out a sneak peek and you can certainly position the first entered the first part of an iterative release as a sneak peek. I'd love to generate some market buzz around that.

Dan Harris: [00:19:09] Is there an example? Because I know when we talked before the show, you mentioned the example of Oculus and the VR component and how they rolled out the market. Can you talk a little about that example?

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:19:19] Yeah. So Oculus go. This is an area of innovation that I've been really focused on lately, virtual reality and augmented reality. And how can how can you [00:19:30] leverage that to get someone engaged in a story or get them engaged in reviewing a program? We've used at McGraw-Hill, we used Oculus go for some experimental simulations and things of that nature. I was looking at OK with this kind of technology fit early in the customer journey to engage someone to connect with the program in some way. Yeah. Yeah, we're finding that there is [00:20:00] obviously a new technology there. There are lots of amazing things that you can do with virtual reality. And it's not just for product usage. It can be a great storytelling device. So I've done some experimental work with that and I'll let you know how it goes.[00:20:14] Oh, that's fantastic. Yeah, we've experiment a little bit here with clients, too, and. On the service side. Right. So it was very fascinating to see someone innovate instead of having a mechanic work on a jet engine by themselves and stumble through things [00:20:30] to be able to have the goggles on, looking at the engine and have the parts manual, manual right there. You could flip through it all. If you ran across, you probably could actually connect with somebody who's an expert on that particular part of the engine and have a conversation. Right. So yeah, it's thinking about how you do things no matter if it's a part of this learning process or servicing or maintaining process. That's just fascinating.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:20:54] That strategy in particular was solving a cost savings problem, [00:21:00] too. Yeah. In that situation, heavy sample costs heavy. You know, these Cadillac sample boxes were going out to everybody no matter what stage in the buyer, yea or nay they were in. So a strategy like that would enable you to allow that sampling at an early concept stage without laying out so much costs. All the physical costs, the shipping costs, the mailing costs.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:21:23] Yeah, a bit like the you know, simulating the prototype. It is. It's all kind of connected. That's another way. You know, when you think [00:21:30] about how can you.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:21:31] The problem that you're talking about is real. Like a lot of times, you just don't have the time to stop as much as you'd like to to get user feedback. But there are some ways that I think I've seen you can sort of speed up getting that research. And many, maybe many of you have played with this. But qualitative research, we all know, is incredibly critical. Further upstream work for a product development for branding and positioning strategies. It's absolutely critical. [00:22:00] I mean, you obviously want to use your quant studies to confirm your theories, but the qualitative is so important. It's also very time consuming and a traditional model. You have to travel to multiple cities. You have to do all that recruiting. What I found is great is there's some really compelling ways to do all of that qualitative online through online insight communities, through heat maps, through file sharing. Hey, take a look at this page design and lesson that we've constructed. Post your feedback in a social [00:22:30] media style. Yeah. And there's just interesting ways to gather feedback in a digital environment that you really can't do at a focus group environment. Plus, I think a lot of times in focus groups you have that dynamic of let me tell them what they want to hear. Right this way, if you're really getting you're almost doing an ethnography one on one with each of your respondents as they're absorbing what you're asking them to give feedback on and they're spending more time on it. They're posting it. And people could feed off of other people's [00:23:00] feedback. That's just a really nice way to get rapid, agile feedback as you're developing it. Once you build an online community and a base of advisors, you could easily set up a group, say, hey, guys, I have something for you to look at this week. Take a look. Post your comments by this date. Thanks so much. You're amazing advisors.

Dan Harris: [00:23:20] Yeah, I think there is. There's always people in your community that want to be on the forefront, that want to know they want to have a cutting edge insight into what's happening. [00:23:30] So you're being able to find those people and pull them together in a group. You're gonna get some tremendous feedback. Yeah. And that process and I think it also helps with the loyalty on the user side, too, because they had they contributed to your product. Right. Right. So there they are a member of that product team.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:23:46] Yeah. And you know the online qualitative is so much faster. I could do a focus group with people in. Three countries at the same time. Yeah, but it's kind of interesting thing. So if you're up against that, that struggle [00:24:00] that I've always been up against, which is, gosh, not enough time was built into the process. I think about online qualitative. Yeah.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:24:07] I'd also say if you don't have a usability lab, if you have any digital component to your solution, think about it's a usability lab. I first saw this concept tomorrow when I was in the international tech space, but it's not that complicated. You have a room and people are in and out of it all the time. There's a scheduler and there's someone standing over the shoulder [00:24:30] of someone trying to use something. And there's just so much that comes through observational research that you don't get through when someone tells you on a survey or what they might say in a focus group or onto a social media style discussion. You have to watch and learn to.

Dan Harris: [00:24:47] I think another just another tip. I've seen this happen in my lifetime, too, when we were testing products as we held conferences. Right. So customer conferences. And then we also did trade shows and [00:25:00] we would go out on the market. Guess what? People are there. So give them an opportunity to participate in test drive. Yeah. Right. And you can look over their shoulder as they do that. So especially at the customer conferences, they're your customers. Part of a customer conference is telling them what's coming up with what's new. And having the ability to have that usability lab on site with feedback immediately saves you time. Also makes that experience, that moment at the show kind of more important than just showing up and hearing presenters. [00:25:30] So those are those are great tips. And I think as we've talked in the past, we're talking now. It's all about collaborating and thinking and innovating from that perspective. So I have this question for you. I always said I'd like to ask this.

Dan Harris: [00:25:44] So let's talk about. What's at stake if a company fails to innovate or even what's at stake if they innovate too slowly?

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:25:56] Right. That's a great question. It's. These [00:26:00] days, it's detrimental to your business these days. For my opinion, which is I guess why I'm here today, that the world is moving so fast.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:26:11] Things change so quickly. Businesses and solutions reach commodity status at a pace that we've never seen before. Yeah, I believe that seamless fluid user experience is an amazing way to differentiate yourself from the pack and set up a trail of really happy [00:26:30] customers that are going to speak on your behalf. So it's. It's really risky to not do this flop, you know, to make this mindset shift. Yeah, because you can miss a whole market. I've seen it happen before, an entire market change within six months. From this topic A. That was super high demand to a being no longer in the conversation. And now B is all the focus. It [00:27:00] just it's happening so fast. If you can deliver a solution that is as intuitive as Apple products, you win the day.

Dan Harris: [00:27:09] Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think it goes back to the stories that you think all all of us have heard. I mean, what happened to Blockbuster right there? No, they didn't. Right. Then you think about television these days and the networks and streaming. Right. And how that's impacting things and innovating. Customers are choosing what [00:27:30] they want to watch, not being forced to watch something. And I think that day in and day out, there are probably businesses becoming extinct because they're not paying attention to the market and to the customer and at least innovating in some form or fashion to stay relevant to the buyers. And I think the other thing, too, for me, as I see this, I have daughters and you have children, too. They're learning faster than we ever did. They're experiencing more in a shorter amount of time and they're more digital [00:28:00] than we ever were. Right. It's their life because they grew up with it. And I think if in order for software companies and businesses who are moving down digital path or physical path, they're going to have to align to those new, younger, more brilliant students that are coming up in the world. Right. You know. So I think what's at risk is potentially just.

Dan Harris: [00:28:22] Being out of business, number one, losing market share and even potentially from a standpoint of operating [00:28:30] in a market. The business could be extinct, but even the market could be extinct.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:28:35] Well, yeah. And the thing is, it is. Say you just have it. Don't.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:28:41] Maybe this year is not a great year for innovative thinking where you're just going to take a rest on that. Yeah. Yeah. That could haunt you for a while. It's kind of like I'm a cyclist, right. So if I'm riding with my group and we are going 20 miles an hour. If I decide I'm tired and I want to slack off a little bit there five miles ahead of me before I can blink.

Dan Harris: [00:28:58] Yeah, it's just that's [00:29:00] a perfect analogy. Yeah.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:29:01] You know, so it's it's one of those things where you want a ongoing practice of this philosophy and you want to make the mind shift as an organization and setup. Processes and systems. Well, you know, if you need it online, inside community, whatever it is to work in tandem with your customers, and if you're in tandem with them and you're always plugging them into your story development, your brand development, your solution development, that innovation comes naturally. You [00:29:30] won't miss the market because you're always talking to them. So. It's it's not as hard as it seems. Like I said, I would think, you know, no one map your customer journey. Make sure you understand that well and make sure it's context for everything that you're doing. Make sure you have schedules that allow time for that user feedback. If at all possible. If you don't turn to some of the suggestions that I had for more rapid feedback with, you know, pushing a lot of your qualitative [00:30:00] research online and getting an online advisory community. Lots of ideas out there for getting rapid feedback. Think about some of those strategies. And you know, the last thing I would suggest is really use the engineering design process. Yeah, I know this may sound scary for people if you're not in an engineering space, but it's a basic, simple, user centered process that works. Whether you're talking about toothbrushes or rocket ships. Yeah, it's what [00:30:30] is the problem we're trying to solve? Plan some solutions, test them, you know, make changes based on that feedback from your testing and then launch it and then test it some more. You know, it's just a continual hey, we made this. What do you think? How can we make it better? You know, continuous improvement is really what we're talking about here. Yeah. I think in many ways that's a lot less scary term than this user centered design that's floating out there. At the end of the day, the game is continue to improve. Right.

Dan Harris: [00:30:59] And continue [00:31:00] to make your customers happy and create loyalty so that they come back and want to buy more. Right. Well, they want to engage with you more. And, you know, I think we all have those brands that we're loyal to. And if you actually think about it from a customer's perspective and you ask yourself, why are we loyal? It probably is going to come back to the work that that company did to understand what I want, what I need, and not so much about what they say they're going to give me.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:31:27]  Yeah. And also, if you involve [00:31:30] customers in your process, they feel like it's their solution to. Yes. So they're there by nature. That involvement much more invested in the outcome and much more likely to convert to a customer.

Dan Harris: [00:31:44] Charlotte, this has been a terrific episode and I learned a couple of different things. I mean, the importance of user stories and user maps and really trying to find what the customer is trying to do and think about the end result mind. I mean, it's just a lot of information packed in a short amount of time. [00:32:00] So thank you so much. I really appreciate it. If somebody wants to get a hold of you, hire you. Talk to you. Just get more information about this topic. How do they do that?

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:32:13] You can find me on LinkedIn, Charlotte O'Neal. I also have a Web site that explains my philosophy for growth. And as I've said to that.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:32:22] www.growbyvoc.com on that site. There is a contact form if you want to set up a conversation. [00:32:30] So reach out. Let's talk. I'm happy to share what I've learned because I think it's it's not rocket science, but these are the kind of practices that you can make that mindset shift to be user driven.

Charlotte O'Neal: [00:32:44] Customer driven. It's going to pay off. It's in balance.

Dan Harris: [00:32:48] Yeah. Well, if you're ready to innovate and grow, you have to reach out, talk to Charlotte, connect with her online. She's brilliant mind. And it's been a pleasure having you on the show. Thanks so much. Yeah, it's been [00:33:00] fun. Good to have you back. We'll talk even more about continuous improvement. All right. Continue to improve, everybody. All right. Take care, buddy. Thank you.

John Sheeran: [00:33:09] Thanks for listening to today's minds on B to Be podcast. If you'd like what you heard today. Please subscribe. Also, feel free to share this episode with your peers and colleagues so we can keep bringing you quality content from the best minds in B2B. Until next time from all of us minds on. Have a great week.


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