Into week five of our focus on fuel poverty: and we are about to move into test phase.
In the Lab our tests tend to focus explicitly on the building blocks of a new service. They are time-limited, closed off experiments that help us evaluate the component in isolation, without any of the noise that ‘real life’ might generate. Not that this real noise isn’t relevant – it just muddles things early on.
Light, fast and ‘dirty’ tests come with relatively low risk so we can afford to do lots of them – indeed we can even fail lots of them without worrying too much.
We'll be revealing our proposed tests early next week. This means getting them in front of our customers so they can comment and give feedback.
Why don't we speak to customers to begin with?
Most Labs we know struggle with how much to listen to customers. Many state that you cannot trust them to tell you what your next product or service should be.
We agree (and disagree).
We do think customers are vital in shaping their service - but bringing them in at the right points is key.
Our approach is to constantly listen to customers and then use that as source material to go and create something to comment upon and shape. They can then be active participants in the testing. There may be a lot more value in involving customers in actual testing than from focus groups, panels and normal 'involvement'.
For instance the blog posts from Bessy Banks have been hugely influential in our fuel poverty work. These informal networks of customers , often represented by social media interest groups, are often overlooked by organisations.
Watch out for the tests and proposals soon.