How We Delight Customers By Partnering With Them In Product Development
by Ryan Foster, Director of Product Management on June 6, 2019
Henry Ford was once quoted saying “if you asked customers what they wanted, they’d say “faster horses.” This famous quote is often used to argue that visionary leaders such as Ford could see the innovation possible by looking into the distant future - things that others cannot see in the near term. Traditionally, customers are not viewed as visionaries since they largely focus on near-term product features due to current pain points and challenges. At Protenus, our customers are visionaries in healthcare privacy and security, innovating right alongside our team to better protect patient data and create a culture of privacy and compliance.
While it’s true that customers don’t always know what’s possible through innovation, here at Protenus, it’s our responsibility to nurture the culture of innovation with our customers and show them what’s possible. We believe that our customers provide valuable insight into the challenges that can drive and fuel innovation. The first step to understanding what our customers need is to develop a deep understanding of their goals, aspirations and pain points. In fact, we think that many of Henry Ford’s customers could have told him exactly what they wanted - faster transportation - if Ford’s questioning had focused on the desired outcomes and engaged customers along the way.
The Protenus team partners with our customers to drive product innovation by focusing on desired outcomes, solving real world problems and engaging them throughout the product development process. This is also why we achieved an overall score of 96.3, being named the 2019 KLAS Category Leader in patient privacy monitoring.
Focus on outcomes, not features
Harvard professor, Theodore Levitt, captured the importance of outcome-driven product development by saying, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.” This simple, yet profound illustration stresses the importance of understanding your customers, what they are hoping to accomplish, what drives their behavior, and how they make their decisions.
Our team leverages our deep understanding of our customer’s pain points and ultimate goals for proactive privacy monitoring to drive which features are developed first. This understanding not only helps us with prioritization, but also ensures that we focus purely on features that deliver value to our customers to ensure they get the most out of the platform.
Solve real world problems
You may be familiar with the adage “measure twice, cut once” to avoid wasting time, material, and frustration. This age-old adage also applies to product development as it pertains to validating that the solutions we create actually solve real world problems in a way that delights our customers and provides significant value.
Instead of using a measuring tape or t-bevel to validate solution-problem fit, we use other tools including, customer interviews, mock-ups, wire-frames, rapid prototypes, and feasibility prototypes to measure for product fit before writing a single line of production code. The engineers, UX designers, and product managers on our team meet with our customers on a regular basis to capture feedback on new ideas to ensure the products that we build will, in fact, deliver desired outcomes and help them achieve organizational goals.
“If a picture is worth 1000 words, a prototype is worth 1000 meetings.” - Tom & David Kelley.
Engage customers throughout the development process
There’s an old African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Protenus wouldn't be where it is today without our customers. From the early adopters that inspired our co-founders to build a better way to protect patient privacy, to our beta users that help us to dream bigger and innovate faster, our customers have a significant voice in our product development process. At the end of the day, it all starts with having the right people on the product team and at Protenus, customers are viewed and encouraged to be an extension of that team.
We consider protecting patient privacy a journey that we are on together. Whether it’s inviting customers to our office to have breakfast on Waffle Wednesdays and brainstorm new feature sets, or visit their organizations to experience their day-to-day challenges, we ensure we bring together the experts in healthcare privacy with our experts in developing the Protenus platform to ensure a team-like environment that allows for candid conversation and a culture of innovation. We are proud of the work we have accomplished so far and we are looking forward to continuing to work together to innovate the industry.
Download our customer spotlights one-pager to see why our customers ranked us the top patient privacy monitoring platform by KLAS Research.