February 27, 2019

No Two Customers Are Alike: How to Build Digital Products that Work for All

When Northwestern Mutual embarked on a transformation to create the ultimate client experience, my team’s responsibility was to build the company’s first-ever set of mobile apps for clients. Research suggested that one target group of advisors and clients wanted a mobile app – and we assumed they would be our highest adopters. Much to our surprise (that happens when you make assumptions), the top users of the mobile app were another group altogether. We learned our lesson quickly. Now our mobile team takes the time to deeply understand all of our clients and their wants and needs.

As digital product developers, I think it’s common for us to think too narrowly about a given customer, and along the way, we make incorrect assumptions about groups of people based on their age, gender, income and more. All of that can lead to customer confusion, dissatisfaction and indecision. It’s time for us to change – we need to build experiences that work for everyone. We need to obsess about every customer’s experience and let that obsession drive every product development decision we make.

Here are a few lessons learned that are shaping the way we develop digital products today.

Read more about this article here on LinkedIn.

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