The last two weeks of my life have reinforced, affirmed, validated, bolstered...the fact that there is only one body that knows best about your customer’s needs and that is the customer themself. As obvious as that seems, I can recall countless times that I have seen the customer’s needs remain hidden despite asking all of the right questions, and doing what appears to be thorough due diligence. We all understand the value of stakeholder feedback, but how do we ensure we are talking to the right stakeholders? …. it would be really cool if I now gave you the right answer… but that would defeat the “question mark” at the end of my sentence. The ever present challenge of accurately identifying customer needs became apparent to me the last two weeks when I had the opportunity to (a) sit with good people (who are great clients) and listen to some of the “fallout” related to some minor product changes, and (b) participate in strategic planning with a new partner who is thoughtfully building a new instructional environment and instructional model because their old partners didn’t take the time to listen. Meetings like these are invaluable, and while we do them often, I know we still don't do them enough.
If there has been any single takeaway from our experience so far, it’s that educators need to spend their time teaching - not interacting with our customer support staff!
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