Innovation doesn’t happen behind closed doors - what can firms learn from customer-centric design?

Innovation doesn’t happen behind closed doors - what can firms learn from customer-centric design?

With raising expectations and louder voices inside businesses, today it’s the customers who are calling the shots. Embracing these real end-users is the key to successful innovation. Karen Waldron, Director of Product Development at LexisNexis, discusses what she has learned while practicing a customer-centric mantra and other agile methods at LexisNexis. 

The changing face of your customer relations

Relationship with customers was much simpler 20 years ago. In our business of legal professional publishing, our processes and transactions were very straightforward. We’d talk to experts who would tell us what information lawyers needed. Over time we would collect these sources together and put them online.

In some cases, the only time we interacted with a lawyer – our users – was when they were telling us about the book they wanted to write. We were experts on our content and how to produce it, and not at all expert in how or in what context a lawyer would consume that information.

The new normal – customer is at the heart of your business

Today this looks very different. The last 10-15 years have seen a seismic shift for businesses. Along with bringing new challenges, it’s also brought much more opportunity for innovation. Central to the transformation has been the rise of the power of the end user to dictate the experience they want from their services, and the increasing amount of direct communication between suppliers and those users.

Contact with end users and customer-centric design have become the basis of LexisNexis’ product development strategy. That change can be attributed to external factors in our markets – such as the growing need for our customers to be more competitive and the evolution of the role of the ‘buyer’ within firms. Internally, this has also been driven by changes in culture and realising that

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