Introduction to Customer Empathy Workshops

Illustrated by: Mary Shakshober

Product feedback from users goes a long way. It’s why Red Hat’s OpenShift Web Console UI is as awesome as it is today. Features like Dashboards and Topology were added because of user feedback—and that’s how we plan on enhancing the console even further. One thing’s for sure: The path to a better console experience relies on continued customer engagement.

Thus, Red Hat has launched a series of workshops specifically geared towards engaging and empathizing with OpenShift customers in order to better understand their needs. We’ve dubbed them customer empathy workshops.

What they are

Our customer empathy workshops enable customers to collaborate with OpenShift user experience, development, and product management to directly influence the future of the OpenShift console. Each workshop has a special topic to focus on so that the group can really hone in on the challenges they face in specific areas. Customers are introduced to our design thinking process as we dive into real product development challenges, starting with problem discovery and following with solution ideation.

The design thinking process

Hands-on activities give our customers the unique opportunity to connect with the OpenShift team, share their pain points, and collaborate with other community members throughout the session. This kind of collaboration makes the product what it is today, so we want to continue engaging with users as much as possible.

Value for our customers 

These workshops certainly help the product evolve, but they also give customers an opportunity to discover, impact, and connect.

Discover: Our customers will get the opportunity to learn how product decisions are made from the small fixes to the larger feature additions. They can also share their pain points, what they struggle with, and where they need help—as well as learn how other companies have overcome similar obstacles.

 

Impact: Customers can lead the conversation around the OpenShift user experience, engage with other OpenShift users, and collaborate through knowledge sharing and group solution ideation.

 

Connect: Discussing the OpenShift console with users brings together folks from different countries, industries, and technical backgrounds. We hope that our participants walk away with new connections and feel even more connected to the OpenShift community.

Our opportunities

While customers are discovering, impacting, and connecting, we’re gaining valuable insight from all the feedback. Specifically, we have the opportunity to listen, prioritize, and design.

Listen: We want to learn more about how our customers use OpenShift: What their environment looks like, how many people are on their team, what their biggest pain points are, and more.

 

Prioritize: Through hands-on activities, we hope to better understand the problem statements that arise throughout our workshop. The more we learn about customer pain points and what ideal solutions might look like, the better we can design a powerful experience.

 

Design: At the end of the day, we want to take all customer  feedback and implement features to make the OpenShift experience better. So after each workshop, we’ll analyze the data, explore the proposed solutions, and design a fix or new feature to address it.

Stay tuned

This series has been an exciting addition to our engagement efforts, and we’ve heard some great feedback from those who have already participated. Following each workshop, we’ll share a summary of the workshop and preliminary results. So keep an eye out for upcoming customer empathy workshops and content. We look forward to sharing the results with you in an upcoming blog article!

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