Smartrak’s product development is driven by the knowledge that successful innovation is always underpinned by a deep understanding of customer needs. This customer-centric development process is an important part of Smartrak’s culture and today we want to introduce one of the key people tasked with ensuring that the customer’s voice is integrated at the very start and throughout the lifespan of all development projects.
Vice President of Product, Steve Harcourt, believes that there are two elements to achieving customer-centric product development.
Being there for the whole journey
“The first thing we have to do is ensure customers are getting the most out of the products they have already bought from Smartrak. For example, our vehicle tracking solution portfolio delivers up large quantities of valuable data for the optimisation and safe operation of fleet vehicles, but we recognise that many of our customers are seeking improved ways to access and interpret this data. We are aware that the data our devices collect is just the raw material. What our customers want are the insights that come from intelligent analysis of that data and the improved decision making that this enables.
Smartrak is nearing the release of a Dashboard that marks a significant step in this direction. It will provide easily digested, but highly informative displays and analysis of the metrics gathered through our solutions, so Fleet Managers gain the visibility they need quickly. The information has always been there, but now it’s going to be delivered in a format that provides a much better user experience.
It’s vital that Smartrak focuses on closing any capability gap between our understanding of the data and how our customers gain knowledge from it. Otherwise, customers are being left to complete the journey on their own.
With initiatives like Dashboard reporting, Smartrak is demonstrating its commitment to being a part of our customers’ whole journey, from collecting the data, through to knowledge creation, and ultimately to informed decision making.”
Bringing our customers into the product development process
“Smartrak is already better at this than most companies but going forward we’re going to see more rigor applied to how the observations and experiences of our customers inform development decision making. Customers are going to be enrolled at every step, from identifying a need to clearly articulating how our technologies can best interact with the work they do.
Product development is an iterative process that depends on clarity of purpose and several feedback loops to keep solutions design on track and ultimately meet a need. That’s the process we will follow to ensure a fine-tuned product that delivers solutions that meet our customers’ needs. We will complement these insights with our own experience, drawn from thousands of deployments and customer interactions, to help inform the process. This can be achieved by guiding customers through to end products that deliver to their need, in a consultative journey where we all have something to contribute.
Customers are already seeing the fruits of this approach. There are products that have been developed to meet a specific customer’s need, which are then offered to organisations with similar operational requirements. Each of these is a classic example of being guided by our customers.”
Pulling it all together
“When you combine the intelligent use of data and a deep appreciation of the customer’s world, you arrive at the place where Smartrak can deliver real value: providing meaningful information to empower transformative change.”