Discover how product improvement can help you stay ahead of the competition and improve your bottom line.
Published 23 Nov 2022
Product improvement is making changes to a product to make it more effective or efficient. It can involve changing a product's design, materials, manufacturing process, or packaging. This process usually aims to increase sales by making the product more appealing to consumers. However, it can also be done in response to customer feedback or to address safety or quality concerns.
Product improvement is essential for any business that manufactures or sells physical products. By constantly striving to improve their products, companies can stay ahead of the competition and keep their customers happy.
There are many potential benefits of improving a product, some of them include the following:
There are two ways how you can make product improvements.
Adding new features is one way to improve an existing product. It usually makes a big marketing splash and gets attention from the press, which can result in attracting new customers and discovering new ways the product can be used. It is typically the only improvement they ever hear about for people who don’t use your product (i.e., non-customers). Remember that adding new features is unpredictable; you must trust that your audience will appreciate them.
Consider the tips below when planning on adding a new feature:
1. Find Out What is Bothering Your Current Customers
Customers are the best source of ideas for new features. They’re the ones who use your product every day, and they know what annoys them or what could make their life easier. You can find out their thoughts by conducting customer surveys, interviews, or focus groups.
2. Find Where Your Current Product Falls Short
Another way to develop new features is to examine your product and find where it falls short closely. It could be in design, functionality, quality, or anything else. Once you’ve identified a problem area, you can brainstorm ways to improve it.
3. Check Ideas Before Putting Them Into Action
Validate your ideas before committing your time and money to product development. One way to do this is to create prototype versions of the new features and test them out with a small group of customers. It’ll give you valuable feedback on whether or not the feature is worth developing further.
4. Introduce New Features and Help People Find Them
Once you’ve developed a new feature, you must ensure your customers know about it. You can do this by updating your website and social media channels, sending out email newsletters, or running ads. You should also make it easy for people to find the new feature by adding it to your product’s homepage or creating a tutorial.
5. Keep a Record of All the Changes
Document every change you make to your product, no matter how small. It will help you track your progress and see what’s working and what’s not. You can utilize a spreadsheet or project management tool or keep a written log.
Eliminate manual tasks and streamline your operations.
Another way to improve your product is by making changes to existing features. It could be anything from tweaking the design to enhancing functionality. The goal is to make the product easier to use, more efficient, or better quality. These improvements are often made in response to customer feedback or as part of a larger product update. There are three ways that you can improve existing features.
Consider the tips below when planning on improving an existing feature:
1. Conduct Surveys to Get Feedback From Customers
Talk to your customers to learn how they use a feature and what improvements they want to see. The best way to collect this type of feedback is through customer surveys.
2. Analyze Where You Can Improve
Analyze the data gathered from the feedback you’ve collected to see where you can make improvements. It could be in terms of design, functionality, or quality.
3. Use Tooltips to Tell People About the New Feature
Make use of in-app announcements to inform your users about new features and updates, encouraging them to use all your app has to offer fully.
4. A/B Test Different In-app Messages to Increase Engagement
Use A/B testing to try out other in-app messages and see which ones are the most effective at getting people to use a new feature.
5. Track Engagement and Use of Features
Use analytics tools to track how often people use a feature and how long they spend using it. You can use this data to identify areas for improvement.
Adding new features or improving an existing one can tremendously increase user engagement with your product. But remember that you’re not only limited to performing any of the two ways, as you can do both at the same time. Consider your options and what would work best for you and your product.
Growing companies are always looking to attract new clients and make more money from their existing ones. They also want to create a community of fans around their brand. To do this, they keep improving their products. Each change or addition (iteration) allows them to address different business needs. So, introducing one new feature allows for many other improvements down the road.
One approach that can help companies in their continuous product improvement is a Lean technology called Kaizen. It comes from the Japanese words “kai” (change) and “zen” (good). Kaizen emphasizes that even minor improvements can have significant effects on processes.
Kaizen suggests that there are three main ways to improve processes:
A company that is always striving to improve can never go wrong. There’s always room for improvement, and if a company ever reached the point where there was nothing else to change, it would more likely be a sign of stagnation rather than success.
Companies grow when they offer something new that people want. If a company does not have anything new to offer, it will not last. If the company is not offering more than it did before, then it is losing customers to its competitors. Product improvement can translate into improved quality, less waste, and simplified work processes.
Everywhere we look, we see examples of product improvements. In the food industry, companies constantly develop new products or improve existing ones. For instance, a company might create a unique ice cream flavor or a new packaging type. Companies always try to improve fuel efficiency or make new safety features in the automotive industry.
Product development is the process of creating new products. Product improvement, on the other hand, is the process of making changes to existing products. The goal of product development is to create something new that people want. The purpose of product improvement is to make a current product better.
There are many ways a company can improve its product. It can make changes to the design, functionality, or packaging. It can also add new features or make improvements to existing ones. If a company is unsure how to improve its product, it can always ask its customers for suggestions.
Product improvement is a never-ending journey; constantly learning and improving is key to success. SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), a multi-platform inspection app, can help streamline your continuous product improvement processes to help your team work smarter, not harder.
SafetyCulture helps you manage and monitor your product development process by:
Rob Paredes is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He is a content writer who also does copy for websites, sales pages, and landing pages. Rob worked as a financial advisor, a freelance copywriter, and a Network Engineer for more than a decade before joining SafetyCulture. He got interested in writing because of the influence of his friends; aside from writing, he has an interest in personal finance, dogs, and collecting Allen Iverson cards.
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