Reframing customer problems can refine our understanding of it. Make it stronger and more robust. It gives us a better foundation from which to generate solutions.
Reframing or simply framing is a concept in Design Thinking that aims at generating a range of solutions by changing the perspective of how you look at a problem.
A key component of Design Thinking is to frame the problem from the customer’s perspective. It’s at the heart of user-centric product innovation. The first stage of design thinking is to empathize with the customer. As a result, you gain a deeper understanding of them.
A quite voice still tells me that is before you create your problem statement.
Yes, an empathy map ends with you detailing pains and gain. Problems and aspirations. The heavy lifting is to first understand the customer and their context. To view the world from their perspective before coming to this last step.
But I digress. Back to reframing customer problems.
Poor problem statements can narrow solution options
Once you come up with a problem statement – or it’s opposite, an aspirational statement – you may still be stuck on determining a solution of how to solve it. Or worse, the problem may not really be a problem worth solving. Mediocre.
Often our own bias seeps into describing the problem. This might influence you towards your go-to solutions. Why I reframe the common saying to be – if you view the world as a nail, the only tool you use is a hammer.
Reframing customer problems refines our understanding
Reframing the problem can refine it. Distill it. Make it stronger and more robust.
One of my ways to reframe a problem is to change it to a how, what or when questions. Often our first problem statement is that a statement. I suggest a question instead can lead us to consider alternatives to answer it.
In this way, the problem “customers are unsubscribing at too fast a rate” can be rewritten multiple ways.
- How can we influence customers to remain subscribers if they are unhappy?
- What can we do to slow the rate at which customers are unsubscribing?
- At what time in their journey is a customer at risk of unsubscribing?
Surveyed customers respond better to questions on a richer problem statement
Once we have a rich problem statement, we can use it to get validation from the customer that it is real for them.
You will get more info from asking current subscribers what makes them unhappy, then to ask in an exit survey their reason for unsubscribing. Someone still vested in the service provides a richer answer to the problem.
Your solution will be focused on doing something when you can still make an impact.