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10 Smart Ways To Assess An Underperforming Product Or Service ft Forbes Council Expert panel

Below you will find the article from forbes.com  10 Smart Ways To Assess An Underperforming Product Or Service Sometimes, no matter how much a business

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Below you will find the article from forbes.com 

10 Smart Ways To Assess An Underperforming Product Or Service

Sometimes, no matter how much a business promotes a product or service, it just won’t sell. At a certain point, the best option for the company may be to cut its losses and invest in the development of a new offering. In other cases, a few changes could make the product or service more valuable to consumers and more likely to be profitable.

How can business leaders decide whether to salvage or scrap a product or service that isn’t selling as well as it should be? Here, 10 members of Forbes Coaches Council explore different methods company leaders can use to determine if an underperforming service or product should be tweaked and enhanced or discontinued altogether.

Featured members explore ways business leaders can assess underperforming offerings.

Forbes Coaches Council members explore ways business leaders can assess underperforming offerings.

 PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

1. Get Feedback From Top Fans

Get your top fans to give you product feedback. I believe in the people who believe in me and are not afraid to suggest changes to what I am doing. I don’t give the same consideration to simple critics, although there are times to bring them in. Those top fans and top clients often want to stay in a strong relationship with you. Give them a chance to provide serious insight into product changes. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.

2. Start With The Five W’s

Who are the people that our service is targeting? What is the challenge or opportunity they are experiencing that our service will address? Why would these people choose our service over our competition? When do they need our service? Where do people find out about and use our service? Then, look at how you are measuring performance to ensure alignment. Good luck! – Sandy Schwan, Evolving Strategies LLC

3. Conduct Root Cause Analysis

Root cause analysis will determine the “why” behind the underperformance of a service or product. This can be conducted by competitive analysis (who is winning, why?), customer research (are our customers happy, how do they perceive our uniqueness, and what is missing?) and industry analysis (overall growth by industry segment). These three, if done well, will give you a good roadmap as to the “why” and “what.” – Linda Martin, Levelup-global

4. Make Data-Driven Decisions

Too often we allow underperforming products or services to limp along for far too long (for a variety of reasons) when, in reality, we would be doing everyone a favor if we would just have timely, candid conversations about what might need to happen to shift strategies or reenergize initiatives. Fall forward and fail fast to ensure that you can engage in iterative growth. – Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC


Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?


5. Look At Engagement Rates

Engagement is key! Whether a service or product, if engagement is down or there’s no engagement at all, it’s a clear sign to redesign or let it go. Let your audience help with the decision. Find the internal root cause (lack of passion, bad marketing, poor decisions, etc.), then get outside feedback. Put polls on LinkedIn and Facebook to see what’s going on. From there, make your next move. – Miranda VonFricken, Miranda VonFricken – Masterminds & Personal Growth Coaching!

6. Assess The Profile And Segmentation

Assessing the profile and segmentation for the product or service helps to ensure the key features are aligned to its target audience. Identification provides companies the clarity, data and value proposition to optimize and promote the product or service directly to its appropriate targeted consumers while focusing on opportunity for steady revenue growth over time. – Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting

7. Look At Your Sales

The big mistake I see business owners consistently make is to throw energy and money at bad customers and poorly performing products and services. Use the Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) to see where you generate 80% of your income with 20% of your effort and focus your energies there. The same with customer focus: Look at the top 20%. It’s simple but works every time. – Mike Koenigs, The Superpower Accelerator

8. Check Your Customers’ Journey

First, check your customers’ journey and understand where you are losing their interest. The user experience is vital in the process of understanding why or when a product is underperforming. How clear are your descriptions? How close are you to your customers? Are your communication channels generating engagement? – Michelle de Matheu, The Mind, Body & Soul Stylist

9. Consider The Future Product Landscape

Assuming you have enough data to truly determine if it’s underperforming, think about the current and future landscape of the product category. Is it a trendy item that’s waning? Could it be reinvigorated with a tweak? Thinking about how much the product contributes to your overall profitability can help determine if it’s time to say so long. – Susan Sadler, Sadler Communications LLC

10. Look At The Team Responsible

When executives identify a challenge, I always advise them to look first at the team responsible for the desired outcome. Is the composition of the team fit for purpose (technical, functional, interpersonal skills, etc.)? How well does the team perform as a team? Are the team’s resources fit for purpose? Always look to the team first before attempting to do anything else. Fix the team, fix the problem. – John O’Grady, O’Grady Leadership Consulting Services

REPOST FROM FORBES.COM 

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