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Module 1: Customer Needs

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Customer Needs Analysis

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Customer Need Analysis
In the last class we discussed, how to identify the customer needs, what is the importance ofidentifying customer needs and what are the steps involved in identifying customer needs?(Refer Slide Time: 0:23)The first part is basically how to gather the raw data from the customer i.e. what is the customerexpecting? What is that he actually wants in the product to be told in his own words. This isknown as the raw data?The raw data need not be in terms of the customer requirement of the product design. It will bethe customer’s point of view, what is the requirement he has. And the next part is that youinterpret the raw data in terms of customer needs. So, this raw data needs to be interpreted as thecustomer’s needs and this is the job of the designer or the person who is interviewing, foridentifying the needs.This raw data from the customer needs to be organized and establish the importance and thenreflect the results and finally find out the actual needs. This is the process to be followed inidentifying customer needs.(Refer Slide Time: 1:31)And then you found that there are some standard methods to do this. Like you can do interviews,do customer questionnaires, focus groups, customers be the customer. These are the differentmethods that can be employed in order to gather customer needs. By asking these questions, you will be getting a lot of customer statements. And these customerstatements need to be converted or interpreted as a customer need. What actually the customer isasking when he says “is it to use?” or he says “I like it in a light weight”. So you need tounderstand what actually the customer needs in that particular situation. That is how youinterpret the need.And then give the importance, basically either the customer will tell if it is important or notimportant, or as a designer you can decide which one is most important according to thecustomer. Since this is an interview you will keep asking questions and will try to gather theinformation and then see whether it is most important, less important or it is an optional one andthat also you will be writing here. So like this if you will interview a large number of people, youwill be getting a large set of raw information as well as the needs and that is the first step ingetting the customer needs.(Refer Slide Time: 3:56)We will take an example and then see how this actually can be generated and how do youinterpret the needs. We will take the simple product which is an electric frying pan. All of youknow what an electric frying pan is? Yes or No? Yes. This is something the company wants toredesign or they want to come up with the new product, but they do not know what exactlyshould the size, quality, cost they are not sure about all those things what customer is looking foror if the customer is already satisfied with this product and they will be able to come up with thenew product. So they want to find out what the customer needs for this product, if they want tobring such a product to market. So they will do a customer interview, using this Like/Dislikeform. And the question will be like “what are the typical uses you have for this product”.Customers should tell you have a frying pan, what are the things you use it for or what are theapplications you have for this frying pan.What are the applications you can think of using a frying pan? Making Maggi, then that is all,beat people, good experience it seems. Then you can fry, you can prepare the fish, chicken, orwhatever you can make curry . So there are many things, somebody will be using it for. Deepfry, somebody will use it for boiling things, or somebody will be using it for cooking food likefried rice or something like that.So basically, there are multiple applications, not a single application and if you are using it forbeating somebody then the requirement will be different. So the typical applications, you will beable to get from the customer, the customer will say, I will be using it for stir- fry, I want to frysomething, I will be using it for steaming, I will be making scrambled eggs or fried eggs ormaking an omelet. And cooking pasta or cooking chilly/stews and something every day. So thereare a lot of other things you will be able to see.So basically, it tells the designer that it is not a single application, there are multiple applicationsfor this and somebody will be using it for deep fry, somebody will be using it for boiling also, Soboth applications are there. And therefore, you need to think of size, shape and the dimensions,etc. based on these requirements. So these are the customer statements. So the interpreted need isthat it may be used for multiple applications. It should be capable of doing stir fry, it should beable to do cooking, and sometimes it may be used for stews like soup or something like that. So,all those things become the interpreted need here.Now, what are the customer likes about this product? So he is already using a product, it is not acompletely new product. So he has some applications and he likes something about the existingproduct. So what is he actually liking about this product? That is the question.Then, he says that a non-stick surface is something which he likes very much because it has anon-stick surface. And therefore, it does not stick on the pan. And it is very good quality so helikes it. And the size also he likes it, it is very compact and it is not very huge. And then it canstand on its own, very interesting thing. Basically, it says that just keep it there it would not tilt orit would not top it. So that is something which the customer likes.Similarly, the temperature response rate is very high. That means actually it heats up very fast.That is the thing which he likes. And then it is aesthetically pleasing and the depth of the dish isalso good. That means it has got enough depth so it will not come out or it will not spill leadingto ruin your cooking. So these are the things he likes about this product.So what can you interpret from that? We need to keep these features in this product then only thecustomer will buy. If you do not provide these features, the customer would not be interested inbuying this product so he may not like it. And therefore, we need to have these as the interpretedneeds of the product. You can write it in your own words or in your own way. What should bethe requirement? So one is you should have your non-stick surface, it will come to theinterpreted need later.So let us look at the dislikes first, so ask the customer what you dislike about this product. Whatare things you do not like in this product? The cord length is very short so you need to keep itvery close to the plug point. You cannot move it away from the plug point so that is somethingwhich he does not like. And it moves around too much when stirring, so though it is stable it canstand on its own, when you try to stir the contents. It actually starts moving, so that is somethingwhich he does not like.sides do not get hot, may overcook on the bottom. The distribution of temperature is not uniform.Bottom has got a high temperature and the sides temperature is less.So there is something which I do not like and am afraid to get bottom wet. So at the bottom ifyou make it wet then there may be a problem with electricity because of the electric one. So theyare afraid of electric shocks and other things, that is why they are afraid to get the bottom wet. Sothe customer says these are the things he does not like in the product.So what does it mean? When you design a product, you have to make sure that these things areaddressed or you are actually addressing these issues so that customers would not have thesekinds of problems. So that is the interpretation that you can get from here and accordingly youinterpret what are the needs that you can put some here.And suggested improvements you ask. So the customer will tell many things, retractable cords sothat you can extend the cord and then retract it. Better gripping bottom, handles to grip, propergripping handles and make heating element casing flatter. That is you can have a more casingflat so that the temperature distribution will be uniform and have a clip for the lid, so that youcan take out the lid very easily.Deep frying accessory so if you can if you want to do it for something else so you can have somekind of accessory you can actually put on the lid and you can do the deep fry. So some kind ofaccessory to add on to the product. So that you can get better utilization of the product. And mayhave ears on both sides in case someone is lefty. That is basically, you can actually hold itproperly and have ears on it, that is you can actually take it with one hand and then.So these are the suggestions from the customer. So it is not necessary all these suggestions arevery good; all the likes and dislikes are hundred percent perfect. So it is up to the designer to seewhich one is important which one is not important. So he will be looking at these things andtrying to interpret the needs. What are the needs you can identify from this?For example, the interpreted needs from the likes will be non-stick. It should be compact; thesize is the important one. Customers say size is an important thing. So it should be compact, itshould be able to stand on its own. It should have a quick temperature response, aestheticallypleasing and deep sides. So these are the things which should be there in the product.Similarly, by looking at the dislikes, you can actually identify the interpreted needs and then saythat it should have a long extension cord. That is a need of the customer, he says the short cord,he does not like. So, basically tell that there should be a long extension cord. Similarly, can griptabletop, compact electric unit, handles are easy to grip, auto shut- off that is basically to I meanoverheating or the bottom gets overheating, that condition can be avoided by having an autoshutoff.Temperature switch is insulated from heat that means it would not get heated up and at an easilyaccessible/readable spot, constant temperature distribution, bottom is water tight. So these are thecustomer needs that you can identify from the dislikes. So from likes you can get a lot ofcustomer needs. Similarly, from dislike also, you can get a lot of customer needs. And then againlooking at the improvement suggested that also gives you some needs over here.So, long extension cord is one requirement. But retractable cord is another requirement. So youcan have a long and retractable extension cord would be the requirement for this product. So thisway, you will be getting a lot of customer needs. And then here you can decide whether it shouldbe good, should have, good to have, or desirable to have like that.Must have, nice to have, should have, good to have. This is the way you classify it, you caneither give numbers like one, two, three or you can say, it should have something, it should.These are almost the same. And then you have good to have, nice to have. Nice to have not tohave always . If you can provide it that will be. So this way you will be creating the needs listwith the interpreted need. And then the importance of this particular product.So this is the way how you use the Like/Dislike form to gather raw data from the customer sothis is the raw data. And these are the interpreted needs of the customer and this shows what isthe importance of this. Now, if you do this for one customer. So that customer need not be theperfect customer or he may not be always using it perfectly. And for you need to go to manypeople and then ask them, what are your likes and dislikes?Many things will be common, many things will be, there will be something which will be new.So you need to get all these customer data for maybe fifty or hundred people. And then at the endof this you will have a large set of customer needs which need to be analyzed to see what theactual customer is looking for.The next step is basically to analyze all these data. The first one is to get the raw customer datafrom using the interview method or the like/dislike methods. Any questions on like/dislikemethods? So, we discussed many types of needs in the previous class. What are the types ofneeds? Direct needs, and Latent needs - these are two major categories, we can say. Direct needsand latent needs so when you ask these questions what you are getting is the direct needs of thecustomer. How do you get the latent needs of the product? Is there any way to get the latentneeds?So the questionnaire kind of like/dislike or interviews will give you the direct needs which thecustomer can identify. That is basically the direct needs the customer is having no difficulty intelling these things. That is the direct need of the product.(Refer Slide Time: 17:28)If you want to get the latent or indirect needs of the customer, there are few things which weneed to do, not directly with the customer but more looking at the life cycle of the product or theuse pattern of the product.We call it the use pattern of the product. How is the product used by the customer? And if youcan go through all those stages then you will identify what are the latent needs of the product? Orwhat are the things the product should satisfy if it has to work in the particular environment orparticular system. So that is what the latent needs. So there are multiple ways.So, one is basically by looking at the customer use pattern. Various activities involved in the lifecycle of the product and the sequence of activities. So, how the product is being used by thecustomer not only on a daily basis, but from the date of the purchase of the product till hedisposes of the product. What are the things happening in between and if you identify all thosesteps then you will be able to identify many needs which are involved in the use of the product?So that is basically known as the customer use pattern and identifying the latent and indirectneeds.So, one of the methods to get this information is known as activity diagram, that is use patterncan actually be identified by using an activity diagram of the product. Activity diagram basicallytells what are the activities involved in the whole life cycle of this product when it comes to theperson or when the customer is getting associated with the product, what are the various thingshappening and diagram of all these activities is basically the activity diagram.It is nothing complex here, a very simple one. What do you do with this product? That is thesimple question. And then you try to make it as a diagram. And then you will be getting all theactivities and that will tell you all the needs of the product or the latent needs of the product. Forexample, let us take a product.(Refer Slide Time: 20:10)Assume that we are trying to redefine redesign refrigerator. It is a very common product lots ofyou know what is this. All of you know what a refrigerator is and what it is used for. So now wewant to find out the latent needs of this product which customers would not be able to tell but asa designer you will be able to identify what kind of things are involved. So instead of going toeach step separately we will look at what is happening in the whole product.So if you are a customer for a refrigerator, what is the first stage when you get associated withthe refrigerator? So what is the first step in so what is the first step instant where you getconnected with that particular product? Pardon? Delivery, so first is delivery. Sure, and who willbuy it?You have to buy it first, then only delivery comes into picture. So, first maybe you will be goingto a shop now because of the online, it may not always be true. But you will be having a storewhere the customer will be going and then he will go through all the available ones. And thenpurchase the product. And the purchase decisions may depend on many things like the size ofwhat he is looking for, what is the cost range he is looking for, did he have preference for aparticular brand. All those things are involved. So he will be purchasing this product.Then what will happen? Yes, I can hear something. What is this? Delivery, so what is happeningduring the delivery, setting of bills, that is coming second, so you purchase it. You do not carry itin your bag. So, there is transportation involved. So you transport it and look very trivial at allthese issues, but then there are some things which come as part of this activity and needs of thecustomer and needs of the product.So you transferred it and then it will be delivered. And then what will happen after the delivery.Installation or will be having what we call this as assembly. The product will be having multipleparts so it has to be assembled so there is an assembly involved and then connect the powersupply. So you connect the power supply and then start using it, that is what happens.So what are the uses you will be having? So you will be having a freezer, you will be havingnormal vegetable storage, and you will be having other storages also. So this is the way you willbe using it so basically will be this can actually say use the product. So all these things can beconsidered as using the product.Now is that the end of the story? No, what will happen? What are the other things involved? Notable to hear you. Maintenance, so sometimes it goes back. So malfunction may happen. So thenthere is a service and after service it will go to use again. So it will start using again after theservice. Now again it goes malfunctioning what will happen? You will say it cannot be repaired,so what will you do? You have to dispose of it.So the activity diagram is nothing complex. It is basically looking through the various stagesinvolved in the customer getting associated with the product and trying to see what is happeningin this stage. And see if there are specific requirements you can identify during each one of thesestages. Then that becomes your latent needs. So this is not the customer is not telling youanything. But you are actually looking at the product life cycle and then trying to see what is tobe done. So what kind of needs you can identify from here. So it has to be stored in the storage.So one need, we can say it is a latent need in this case, basically it should be a compact one. So ifyou make it bulky you need to make a large storage space. So, it is always good to make it verycompact. Not from the customer’s point of view, but from manufacturer, seller’s point of view, itshould be compact. So, that is something you can identify as latent. But it may be true as a directneed also. So it is not that we are not going to get any additional information.So purchase also you can say, people will purchase based on the features and the cost. So again,needs will be here, it should be low cost, features, etc so not necessarily latent needs. So, you donot need to worry about that much. And something it is a customer would not be able to tell youabout transport. He is not worried about how you transport it. He is worried about it as long as itcomes to your house. You are happy with that.But it says that there is a transportation involved in the product life cycle and therefore twothings, one it should be lightweight and other one the packaging should be proper, so that it willnot get damaged during transport. So, one of the latent needs comes that it should be easy totransport or it should not get damaged during transport is one of the latent needs which thecustomer is not worried about.Customer says as long as it gets in my home, I do not care. But this is the manufacturer’sresponsibility or designer’s responsibility that it can be easily packaged and it can be easilytransported. That becomes one of the latent needs of this product. Now, delivery there is nospecific things, especially that packaging is good and it is light weight it can be easily done. Sohere also that light weight comes into picture because of the delivery and transport issues.What else? The next stage is basically an assembly of the product. What is the need here, latentneeds? It should be easy to assemble which the customer would not be telling you. There is no itis not the direct need of the customer to be easy to assemble. So, easy to assemble will be onelatent need you can identify. When you say easy to assemble, what actually you mean? Lessnumber of parts, easy narrow feet, no need for a large number of rules.So these are things, easy to assemble. But we normally look at it from a design point of view,easy to assemble is the requirement. How do you make it easy is the next question that weanswer later. So if you do assemble is the requirement.And then connect to the power supply. What is the requirement? It should be, you have to look atwhat kind of power supply the customer will be having. Is he having a, is it in India, or is it inEurope or in the U.S things are different? So you have to look at which country you are going touse and what is the latent need of the power supply in that particular country or a particularregion. For example, in places like in villages and all if you are using it, there will be a lot ofpower fluctuations. So you need to look at if there is a power fluctuation, then you have toprovide appropriate stabilizers or in built stabilizers or external stabilizers.So that becomes another latent need. So, how do you adjust to the power fluctuations in that area.And what kind of power supply, 230 volts, 110 volts, 50 hertz or 40 hertz. That also becomes thelatent needs here. And then you look at what kind of application people are having. How manyof you have looked at the fridge in your house?What is there in the fridge? What are the things people keep in the fridge? Fruits, food cookedfood and raw food. Vegetables then ice- cream may be, then milk. Pardon? Food or maybeone-week food or two week food it depends. But more than that see, there are people there arepeople some people will keep all the dals and all of things in the fridge.Somebody will keep all these things outside, somebody will keep inside, somebody will keep itin the freezer. So you need to have an idea of what the major things will be and what they will bekeeping. Accordingly, you will be able to identify the size needed for each cabin. So, this isactually a latent need. The customer would not tell you what should be the size of the freezer,what should be the size of the vegetable tray that is needed. These things you can actually look atby using the pattern of the customers.So, how much space people normally use it for freezer. How much space normally keeps forvegetables. So again, you will get some latent needs from here. Approximately, percentage wiseyou can say thirty percent of the somebody will go for freezer and less space for vegetable ordepending on the region it will be, so, looking at this pattern you will get latent need about thespace distribution inside.And then it malfunctions. So malfunctioning means it is not working. Simple, that is all. Whatwill the customer do? Then you have to call the service center. So you need to have servicefacilities in that region. So that is one latent need coming more from the business perspective notfrom the design perspective but at least, you need to know what are the major failures that canhappen and how to address these issues that become one latent need, the type of failures that youcan anticipate.And then the service, so there is a service involved. So you should be able to design in such away that the service becomes easy. Not that you have one small failure in a product where youhave to dismantle the whole product and then have to address it. You should be able to make adesign in such a way that the service request can be easily addressed. That becomes one of thelatent needs, easy to service or easy to repair. So easy to repair will be one requirement which isagain a latent need. As a customer is not worried about easy or difficult, as long as it getsrepaired, he will be fine, he will be happy.But it is the designer’s job to make the repair easy for the product. That is easy to repair. Andthat is coming as another latent need from the customer perspective or activity diagram. And thelast one, at the end of this, dispose. With the lot of talk on the environment and eco-friendlysystems. So, how you dispose of this product is something that a designer should be aware of,from the beginning itself from the design’s stage itself, he should be clear what kind of disposaloptions are there for the product.What are the things that can be reused? What things can be disposed of without affecting theenvironment? What are the things which need to be carefully disposed of to avoid any particularenvironmental impact? So, that again becomes the latent need of the product. For example, in thecase of a refrigerator, most of the time, the temperature may be in good condition and you canactually use it. Most of the trays in good condition, you will be able to use it for some otherpurpose. And the metallic parts which actually get rusted need to be properly disposed of.So, the latent needs actually cover these aspects also by looking at what way the product can bedisposed of. So these are the ways in which we can analyze the activity diagram and thenidentify all the latent needs of the products. So, the direct needs can be obtained usingquestionnaires or interviews. But the latent needs cannot be obtained from the customer directly.And therefore, we need to go through a different process and identify the latent needs. So one ofthe easy ways to do this is an activity diagram.So you look at the activities happening in the product or the life cycle of the product and see ifthere is any specific instance where you can identify a particular need. Not necessary that everystage is a need. But you should be able to identify if there is any specific stage where there is ais basically known as the affinity diagram method.We will discuss this in the next class, how do you actually do an affinity diagram method forgetting the product but before we close, I will give you a homework.(Refer Slide Time: 42:01)So what you need to do is, so you have a form Like/Dislike method form. So I have given youthe Like/Dislike method form and again there is a form. So you need to interview your parents,your mother, your sister, father whoever you feel is the right person to give you the answer. Askthem what they like about this particular product.You mix all of you, everyone will be having a mixer at their home. And they will be using itevery day. You ask your parents what they like about this product, what they dislike and whatapplications they have. Somebody will be using it for grinding; somebody will be using it forgrinding dry grinding or for some other purpose. Somebody will be using it to make dough fordosa, idli.So what are the applications and what are the likes and dislikes and what suggestions do theyhave? So please collect this and then do the activity diagram for this product to identify the latentneeds also. And what you need to do, you do not need to give me the hard copy, you scan thehard copy both sides and submit them in the module because I want to keep the hard copy withyou. We will be doing exercises later with the same hard copy.So scan the answer sheet on both sides and submit it in the module by the 19th that isWednesday. Sufficient time you have just to ask questions. Anyway, you call your home everyday. Just ask these questions and submit this and keep the hard copy with you, I will ask thislater for you to submit.