Co-creating with Classe365: How We Enhance Product Innovation by Making Customers Our Co-creators

By Nandan Keerthi

Co-creation is no more just a mere marketing trend. In Industry 4.0, customer co-creation is an absolute necessity. In fact, I recently read a very interesting Deloitte article, where they speak about how co-creation is especially important for a B2B company like ours (Classe365).

For those who are unaware, Classe365 is an EdTech company. We help educational institutions with everything related to student management and we enable them to provide online learning with the help of software products like Learning Management System, Student Information System and Customer Relationship Management.

In Classe365, we value R&D more than anything else. Product innovation and technological advancements are the two facets where we lay the highest emphasis on. But over time, we realized that the best way to improve our R&D is through our customers. Like how my colleague and product specialist of Classe365, Patricia Esmaquel, pointed out in a new audio series that we’ve started, there’s no better way to understand problems and come up with possible technological solutions rather than getting it from the first person’s perspective.

In our case, since we are an education management company, the academic heads, registrars and teachers are the best people to get to know about everyday student management problems and the possible solutions to tackle them. Here’s why we think that way:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6714453131792535552

By now, it might be quite evident that I am a strong advocate for customer co-creation. I wanted to talk to you all more about this strategy, why it is a good strategy, touch upon how we co-create, how it helped us find our USP, and the results of customer co-creation in this article.

This will be a relatively quick read and I would like to just touch upon the basics. A more detailed insight about how we co-create with customers will be discussed in the ‘Co-creating with Classe365’ audio series.

WHY CO-CREATE 

First and foremost, customer co-creation is one of the most effective ways to democratize customer insights. 

I’ve always believed in the above mentioned quote. An article I read on Harvard Business Review sometime back has only strengthened my belief regarding the same. The article states that Adobe Systems has provided the access for all of its employees to all the customer insights they got. This way, employees of the organisations get to know about what the customers are exactly looking for and understand them better. This is what we try to achieve in Classe365 as well.

We want the minds of all our stakeholders thinking as one.    

Like how the same article states, I believe that the above-mentioned point helps link employee culture to customer outcomes.

Customer co-creation also helps us build a strong sense of community

By regularly interacting with our customers, we are able to create a strong community and develop more intimate relationships with them. And as an extension to what I said earlier about all minds thinking as one, this also helps all of us develop emotional intelligence.

And all these directly help in accelerating product innovation. 

By getting regular feedback and regular tips on what customers might want and continuously looking at how feasible it would be, the product innovation significantly enhances.

Also, marketing of these gets way easier with customer co-creation. As the innovations are prescribed by none other than the customers themselves.

HOW WE CO-CREATE  

Let me explain this with the help of our more recent innovations. In what’s one of our very significant updates for 2020, we are introducing a new architecture for our customers. So how did customers help in creating it?

  • First, we let our customers share their thoughts on what new features they wanted and what enhancement they wanted in the existing features
  • We then analyzed the requests and suggestions that were put-forth with the help of a heat map.
  • We then implemented those in the new architecture across three different stages.

The major enhancements and changes that our products are 1. Multi-course Enrolment, 2. New Academics Module, and 3. Degree Audit.

THE RESULTS 

“How can your software cater to all types of educational institutions? This is Impossible”

This was one question which many of my entrepreneur friends, EdTech veterans asked me when we started out. They were unsure if we could do what we really wanted — cater to all types of educational institutions.

Theirs was a valid concern and a logical question as most of the other edtech companies cater to predominantly one type of educational institution — one of K-12, colleges, colleges and universities, and academies. But at the time we started out, we wanted to explore all possible opportunities and that’s the reason why we wanted to cater to everyone. Though it didn’t seem practically a very good option, we kept talking to our customers, what they wanted. We then started implementing those in our innovations aside from our own research. The end product – as a part of customer co-creation – became more wholesome and we now have a variety of customers who don’t just come under all educational types, K12, Higher Education, but also NGOs and government bodies.

MY SUGGESTIONS

Do it only if you think you genuinely think it can help with product innovation. Don’t if you just want quick and short-term results. 

It’s because this is not the only way to co-create. In fact, Steve Jobs once famously said “it’s not a customer’s job to know what they want”. It’s not just him. Even Elon Musk is famously known for starting innovative projects like the Cybertruck impulsively and instinctively.

So if instinct is what works for you, you go by it.

That’s it for this blog. For more detailed information regarding how we co-create with our customers, visit our social media channels where we would be releasing a new episode of ‘Co-creating with Classe365 every fortnight.

Comments are closed.

3 ways to prepare for a shrinking enrollment pipeline during COVID-19
Classroom technology must-haves: 5 essential tools to make both face-to-face and online classes effective

With CSV/Excel Upload, setting up institution takes less than 10 minutes.

Not Ready? Request a demo

Customers

  • Performance Arts
  • Language Schools
  • Professional Career Academy
  • Sports & Fitness Academy
  • Private & After School Tuition
  • Public / District Schools
  • Private Schools
  • International Baccalaureate & Career Schools
  • Religious Schools
  • Community Colleges
  • Vocational - Technical Colleges
  • Career colleges
  • Liberal arts colleges
  • Public
  • Private
  • Religious
  • Distance Education
  • Online Virtual University