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Customer involvement in the product development process is not always solicited, but is always a success factor to launch new product ideas. Michael Shoppel and Philip Davis of Betasphere, a beta testing company, advise that active collaboration with target product users during the product development process is the number one factor leading to successful product introductions.
Early access programs, alpha and beta testing, pilot programs and field trials are examples of programs that elicit customer feedback. Obtaining feedback can help you find and fix technical product problems, as well as help you evaluate user satisfaction.
So, if you want to be prepared to meet customer expectations when launching your new product, remember that the customer can be a vital member of your product development team.