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Look to the Left By Dave Wascha "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs 3 September 2020 True customer problems, mapping, mtpengage, mtpengage manchester, Premium Content, Video, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 462 Dave Wascha speaks at MTP Engage Manchester Product Management 1.848
· 2 minute read

Look to the Left By Dave Wascha

In this MTP Engage Manchester talk, Dave Wascha, then Chief Product Officer at Moonpig, shares with us some insight on solving customer problems by mapping them out and then looking forward and back in time as they relate to one another.

His key points include:

  • Understanding customer problems
  • Looking to the left
  • How far to the left

Watch the video to see Dave’s talk in full. Or read on for an overview of his key points.

Understanding customer problems

Customer problems can be broken down into component parts or smaller steps. This makes it easier for problems to be mapped. During his time at Travelex, Dave’s team attempted to solve the customer problem of buying things in another country. Initially, Travelex focused on the get step of the currency exchange market where users exchanged currency. Unfortunately, this market was crowded and fragmented, making it difficult to get repeat customers and encourage customer loyalty. There was not much differentiation between them and the other products on the market. To fix this they needed to look at how they could create more value for travelers by looking to the left.

Looking to the left

Dave and his team at Travelex found opportunities by mapping out their component parts and focusing on the planning stage. While competitors focused on the exchange stage, they were able to employ a strategy they called looking to the left – a strategy whereby they looked back in time, further up the value chain, to see where they could to provide more value and help solve the customer problem of planning a trip. They used surveys to get feedback from their users on how important some things were to them and if they were happy with the current solutions. This helped them to prioritize new features that were well received by customers.

How far to look

How far to the left should we look? According to Dave, it should be as far as it allows users to keep you top of mind. At Moonpig, they send personalized greeting cards. By looking to the left they were able to discover two new steps. Some low-cost experimentation using their CRM allowed them to test new initiatives which resulted in terrific results.

The key takeaways from this talk are that product managers should engage in looking to the left and to the right. Looking to the left provides new opportunities, looking to the right helps you to gain some insight as to what people are really looking for externally and psychologically. As product managers, you can use this data to evaluate if there is a small investment you can make to create new opportunities. The ultimate goal would be to create a new cycle that will provide opportunities for new customers.

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