“The customer’s perception is your reality” – Kate Zabriskie, President of Business Training Works Inc.
Customers are one of the key resources for new product development in any business – their inputs reflect their not only their needs and desires, but also suggestions for potential marketable products. In some cases, it can even lead to radical innovation.
In theory, there are different methods to internalize customer knowledge, however little is known about the effectiveness and efficiency of these methods. In an interview with WHU Inside Business, Alexander John, Head of communications at Ubisoft Blue Byte, mentions the importance of giving the customers the ownership of the product by including them in the production process.
For game development projects, it is common for customer integration and testing to be part of the development process. Interaction with game developers could have exciting outcomes – you could be the brain behind the new Super Mario, or be the mastermind behind Pacman’s new look! Customer interaction has helped game developers identify unmet needs of gamers, and work on improving the overall gaming experience.
It is interesting to see how this is put into practice at Ubisoft BlueByte. An interactive portal between game developers and potential customers enables both stakeholders to be in constant touch all year round. The portal has worked for Ubisoft over the years, and Alexander John summarises the advantages of customer interaction in a single statement – “We can always interchange feedback, we can always know what we should do next.”