Customers always have insight beyond our own

  • Customers always have insight beyond our own

    When we build a new feature into our PriceAdvantage fuel pricing software, we always have a use case in mind. The use case includes two aspects: the persona, that is the primary business person who will take advantage of the feature; and the story, which is the way the business user will use the feature and the business problem solved. For each new feature, we write a user story as per the Scrum software development way, and we write it in this format: “As a [persona], I would like to [interact with the software in a specific way] in order to [solve this business problem]”. For example, “As a fuel manager, I would like to see each of my store locations plotted as colored push pins on a map, with color representing how well the store is performing volume compared to target”. This is a real world example of a feature we included in PriceAdvantage 3.8.

    What is interesting about releasing a new feature like this, is that despite all the market research we do to come up with the feature definition, once customers see it, they see additional benefit beyond what we expected. When we showed this color coded push pin map feature to a fuel manager customer, the first thing she said was “not only will this feature be great for me when managing fuel pricing strategies, but this will be great for our team who decides where to build new store locations, because it clearly shows the stores who are performing well and where they are located, as well as which stores are struggling.” She came up with a whole other persona and use case we hadn’t even considered. It is this customer insight that allows our software to continue to extend into solving more and more business problems in the fuel price management c-store business.

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