Are your products creating better customer experiences?

Designs speak louder than words. If you want customers to see you as innovative, there’s no better way than to rethink your product portfolio.

Welcome to the second of our four-part series about company reinvention. This week we’re looking at ways to keep your products and services fresh (and relevant). After all, no marketing or advertising budget can overcome outdated product offerings. So with that in mind, here are five questions to ask your product development team:

1. Do customers “get” the value without any explanation? Your products and services should tell a story without an extra layer of advertising, says the Harvard Business Review. Products like the Apple iPod and iPhone are perfect (if predictable) examples. They caught on quickly because people understood what they did (and how to use them) without needing a tutorial.

2. Are we keeping in touch? A recent Forbes article says that one reason 8 out of 10 businesses fail is because they stop asking customers what they want. Seeing sales slow? Maybe it’s time to reach out to the people who buy from you. Even a simple question posed to Twitter or Facebook can do the trick. See some fun examples from Skittles.

3. Can we make the experience better? Some industries are about speed (think travel). Others are about trust (financial) or service (hospitality). What kind of experiences do you want to be associated with? At NCR, we develop our products to make the most of an experience—like taking the hassle out of everyday transactions so people can get right to the fun—or what matters most to them.

4. Are our products modern? We took a cue from the latest consumer products and redesigned our point-of-sale (POS) systems, like the NCR RealPOS XR7, to look beautiful and work smoothly. Our retail customers like that our systems are sleek, slim and look like they belong in a modern store. But they’re also designed to last.

5. Can we build a better product? If so, you’ve got an edge against your competition. Use it. We built weatherized ATMs that withstand sandstorms, extreme altitudes, heavy rains and severe heat and cold. You can find them in the desert, in the Alps, onboard ships, in remote villages in India and even in a copper mine in Chile—pretty much wherever you might travel to.

While we’re proud of our heritage, we know that our customers expect us to keep up with them. That’s why we’ve adapted over time—like adding self-service technologies where people want more choice and control. Or by integrating CRM tools into point of sale software and hardware.

How can you lead your industry with newer, better products or services? Next in our series on company reinvention we’ll explore expanding your marketplace.

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NCR is a giver. In 2015, our NCR Foundation donated nearly $1M to charity. Now that's teamwork.