HOW COLLABORATION IMPROVES YOUR CUSTOMERS' EXPERIENCE
The end goal of any organization is to deliver a quality experience to their customer base. That may manifest as a product that solves a common problem, adds a new layer of convenience to their lives, or enables them to accomplish something entirely new. However, businesses can only meet those needs if they've performed the appropriate research first. Without input from an outside source, they may miss an important detail that makes the difference between a blasé customer experience and a stellar one.
Nielsen produced a research study in 2015 that examined the impact of collaboration on the final consumer impressions of packaged goods. Their findings indicated that when a team of six or more professionals contributed during the brainstorming stage of a product's development, the product was received more positively by the end consumers. There was also a seven percentage point improvement in consumer response for product concepts that were produced by teams with more diverse membership, with members that have varied backgrounds and organizational roles. To summarize, customers really can (indirectly) tell when businesses are collaborating. The quality and novelty of the products is distinguishable from - and preferred over - competitive offerings.
Impact on the Organization
The same Nielsen study also found that teams of six or greater produce approximately 50% more product concepts than smaller teams. This increase in productivity can be attributed to the presence of additional perspectives. Other team members are able to provide input on potential use cases and applications for a product, materials alternatives, different packaging options, and other variables. The multitude of alternative concepts means there is a higher chance that the collaborative team can arrive at an end solution that provides customers with a satisfying end product.
Experience and knowledge varies from team member to team member in a collaborative environment. With more skilled workers present, the possibility of work being stalled by unforeseen challenges is mitigated. It also provides a stronger chance that any faults in the final product that may ruin the customer experience are detected and resolved prior to manufacturing. In essence, having a broad collaborative team is like having a very early focus group for the product or concept.
Including several team members in collaboration often results in delegation of specific tasks or objectives among those team members. As members work on their assignments, they often have the opportunity, within the bounds of a nondisclosure agreement, to share their work with mentors or other knowledgeable individuals outside of the group. With a larger collaboration team, the efforts end up being assisted by an expansive network of professional connections and thus a deeper knowledge pool. In a similar fashion, having a large collaboration team also provides many avenues for approval of project concepts and therefore fewer barriers to project completion.
Where to Find Collaborators
To serve your customers with the best possible end products, collaboration must be part of an organization's strategy. It can take place within an organization, but the best results will come from partnering with outside organizations within a similar field. In the electronics industry, for example, industry leaders come together to develop standards that enhance manufacturing processes & streamline resource use, allowing companies to go to market sooner and deliver products to their customers. From a strategic standpoint, electronics collaborators unite to analyze the state of the industry, review recent progress, and identify trends by producing a roadmap and bringing industry players into alignment.
For electronics manufacturers, iNEMI is the perfect group to connect with many other businesses in the field. As a consortium, members work together on projects facing not only their customers, but the industry as a whole. For a brief overview of iNEMI and information about how to get involved as a member, click here to download the iNEMI flyer.