Customer experience is perhaps the single most valuable and emphasized component of business operations. Both B2B and B2C companies greatly value the concept of creating exceptional customer experience as the bottom line of achieving revenue growth.
Customer input to the innovation process can range from non-existent or reactive up to proactive. The level depends on the company culture and its history/success with past innovations. Proactive customer involvement provides the best atmosphere for successful innovation.
Organizations have had varying degrees of success in utilizing consumer research in their innovation processes. According to Ellen Di Resta, this is typically due to a misalignment of expectations for how directly the consumer can influence the product development process.
Sometimes the biggest resistance to innovation comes from the person who should benefit most from it – the customer. Customers can be very conservative. When you come along with an unorthodox new product or service they are often initially unimpressed. Why should the buyer take a risk with your unproven new gizmo? He knows that new products often have bugs and he does not want to be the guinea pig on which you experiment. He is familiar with the current method – why should he change?