May 19, 2022

The Credera Brief | Uncovering Unmet User Needs

Credera Team

Credera Team

The Credera Brief | Uncovering Unmet User Needs

In our latest edition of The Credera Brief video series, Credera Partner Nathan Hanks shares three steps to uncover unmet user needs, and in turn, build better products.

Understanding Customers’ Motivations

As the late professor Clayton Christensen said, “Customers don't buy products and services, they pull these things into their lives to make progress on problems they are having.” Christensen’s quote challenges organizations to understand the motivation behind customers’ purchasing decisions and develop a deeper understanding of their users’ needs.

At Credera, we follow three steps to discover unmet user needs, understand the job a customer is trying to perform, and create better products as a result:

1. Defining Personas

Personas should reflect the various customer types or users of your products or services and are developed from user research.

2. Customer Journey Mapping

There is no singular way to depict a customer journey map, but Hanks recommends using an x-y axis. Customer journey lies on the x-axis while the customer’s satisfaction, ranging from sad to happy, is plotted on the y-axis.

A spike in the axis occurs when something makes the customer happy, while a drop indicates sadness. Focusing on the happy-sad continuum is useful, as it considers the emotional and social dimensions of switching products.

XY-axis of the Customer Journey
XY-axis of the Customer Journey

3. Evaluate Your Findings and Look for Unmet User Needs

An indication of an unmet user need is if a customer is employing a workaround. This likely should be reflected as making the customer sad. We’ve all seen workarounds—be it unruly Excel spreadsheets or some convoluted manual process.

Another sign of an unmet user need is a customer using products in unusual or unintended ways. This suggests the incumbent product is not great at that task and is probably the only choice the customer has. Using a product in unintended ways can be reflected as making a customer happy or sad—they might say something like, “I do this with product x, but it's not really supposed to be used that way.”

There are a few key methods to discovering and addressing unmet user needs, and ultimately, attracting customers to your brand.

The Credera Brief

At Credera, we believe the toughest business challenges are best solved by a team—a team who works together to share knowledge to accomplish their goals. 

We created The Credera Brief series to distill trends and ideas from Credera leaders and experts. These short-form videos share different insights and perspectives across the topic spectrum from MarTech and innovation to strategy and technology

You can find the complete series on our YouTube page, or reach out to to continue the conversation.

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