Consumer electronics product launch case study

How customer feedack can save a consumer electronics product launch

This case study has as its goal to showcase the necessity of customer feedback. More specifically, how an accurate analysis system can produce insights that otherwise would be close to impossible to acquire.

Summary:

Wonderflow was presented with the challenge of pinpointing the exact reason why Z company’s new product didn’t go as planned in terms of sales. The problem had an immediate effect, which resulted in extra costs on:

  • Product Researchers
  • Product Engineers
  • Contact Center

Through Wonderflow’s data collection and analysis, the root of the problem was identified and Z adapted the promotion of their product. This resulted in overall savings that amounted to $7m in RnD costs, as well as sparing the company from a sense of confusion and disarray between the different departments.

Read more ▾Contact us

The problem

Last April, company Z launched a new product. It was a new electric razor. The RnD department was confident that the product would be a smash hit. All the tests had been run and there was proof of its advanced quality.  For some reason, the new product did not perform as expected when it came to sales. The razor, and Z’s product manager, Lotte, was tasked with finding out the reasons behind that. As a result, Lotte said:

In the first weeks of release, the results were disheartening. We had done all the tests and we couldn’t imagine what was the reason behind such low scores.

The product manager’s side:

We will see this story from different points of view:

Imagine being Lotte, the product manager in charge of company Z’s new product and for some unexpected reason, the new product underperforms. What do you do? Lotte searched for the available customer feedback, which told her that the product was problematic. The low ratings were also something that naturally followed. The razor would reach the customers and, once they took it out of the box, it didn’t work. Her first reaction is to contact the RnD department and ask them to investigate.

The product itself had produced unexpected costs for the company:

  • There were a lot of returns
  • There were a lot of negative reviews, and 
  • The customer service was overloaded with complaints from the customers. 

At this point, Lotte contacted Wonderflow, trying to explain the predicament and asking for insights.

The customer service’s side:

Let’s jump back a bit and observe this from the eyes of the customer service: A call comes through, that the product never worked. Without any previous problems, the call operator did not really know how to react, since the product was guaranteed to be working. What we end up having is a situation where no one can help each other, since there is insufficient information.

The customer’s side:

Another final jump will help us see the situation through the eyes of the customer. Gijs just walked out of a store, with Z’s new razor in his hands. He is excited to go home and try it out. When he gets back home, he unboxes the razor with a sense of discovery and excitement that goes hand-in-hand with every type of opening of a new product, especially the consumer electronic type (think about the last time you opened the box of your new phone). Then, Gijs proceeds to go to the bathroom to test this new piece of technology. He presses the button, but nothing. The razor doesn’t turn on. Many people in the same situation would get frustrated, but not Gijs. He took the razor’s charger and plugged it in. That was it. The light went on and the razor started charging. Gijs would have to wait for a while before testing his new purchase.

The problem which started with people not reading the instructions and ended up with the product underperforming was costly to both the company and the customers. Through Wonderflow’s advanced analytics, we were able to pinpoint the root of the problem by collecting free-text from more than 80 sources. This way, we discovered that the customers were dissatisfied, not only due to the fact that they weren’t able to test the product right away, but also because they weren’t informed about that before making the purchase. Of course, it was written in the instructions that it was the case, but, of course, nobody reads at instructions. 

The solution:

From this intervention, Z was able to focus their efforts on fixing the problem. It was estimated that they saved $7m from being spent in RnD. Z issued stickers on the boxes of the razor, explaining the reason behind the current design. The stickers illustrated the new directions of use for the product. Within these, it was explained to the customers that the razor had to be used without the cable due to the danger of electricity in damp places (electric razors are usually kept in the bathroom). Additionally, it was displayed that the razor needed to be charged fully prior to use therefore it cannot be used right away.

Thanks to this they were able to diminish the amount of calls to customer services about the razor not working as soon as they plug it in. Therefore, these stickers were an easy fix to the initial mountain of calls, saving and enabling customer service to redirect its focus on other matters. When Z made their intentions clear, highlighting the reasons for delivering their product in the state they did, the customers turned out to be appreciative and even responded with a sense of satisfaction as they felt protected by the product’s designers.  This led to a positive reaction by the customers, who rated the product with more enthusiasm. Consequently, the product’s ratings were increased by 0.6.

A few months later, Lotte said:

In this [the electric razor] case, we received a quick response from the voice of the customer and were able to save time, money and get back on track. We’ll have to keep a closer eye on customer feedback from now on

The names in this case are anonymized.

Read about the different use cases for the Wonderboard:

Conclusion

Wonderflow was presented with the challenge of pinpointing the exact reason why Z company’s new product didn’t go as planned in terms of sales. The problem had an immediate effect, which resulted in extra costs on:

  • Product Researchers
  • Product Engineers
  • Contact Center

Through Wonderflow’s data collection and analysis, the root of the problem was identified and Z adapted the promotion of their product. This resulted in :

  • Overall savings that amounted to $7m in RnD costs
  • Sparing the company from a sense of confusion and disarray between the different departments. 
  • A comeback in sales. More specifically, Z was able to recover and even exceed the predicted sales by 4% on the third quarter since the product launch .
  • The ratings of the product raised from 3.6 to 4.2.
Email this case to a colleague

Get in touch

Want to know how you can become customer-centric just like our other clients? Get in touch right now and we’ll get back to you.