Identifying and Addressing Product and Service Flaws

From Problem to Priority: Identifying and Addressing Product and Service Flaws

Blog post author
Written by
Lea Skrinjar

The perception of what our product or service is goes beyond the product or service itself.

According to 2022 global research from Salesforce,

  • 88% of customers now consider their experience with a company to be as important as its products, which is higher than 80% in 2020.

This makes our job a great deal more complex.

In the journey that customers make when buying and using a product, they encounter different touchpoints with a business in different phases of their decision-making, from seeing an ad, or going through social media posts, looking at a website, chatting with support, using a product, to dealing with delivery and packaging.

All these touchpoints create increasingly complex customer journeys, making it more difficult to always ensure a great customer experience. 

Sometimes we are not even aware of the influence specific touchpoints have on customers, or of all struggles customers have, unless we deliberately pay close attention to it, usually by doing the research.

In such a complex context, to detect flaws and find opportunities for improvement and innovation, we need to deeply understand our customers, and look at our service from a customer perspective considering every step customers make - from gaining awareness of our product to using it, to repurchasing. 

We also need to place their journey in the context of our business, the team, the funds, and the capacity. 

Below you’ll find out how to

  • Approach,
  • Identify flaws,
  • Understand the impact of the issues, and
  • Prioritize.

Unraveling look from above 

What I find extremely useful in this situation is to set a good top-level view of what is going on. A view that will give us a chance to see what is going on on both sides, on the customer's side, and the business side, during the customer journey. 

We can easily achieve that by mapping our customer journey.

Customer journey mapping is a mighty tool that I highly recommend. It is beneficial on so many levels, to:

  • identify opportunities for improvement, 
  • align business goals and customer needs, 
  • increase customer retention and loyalty, and 
  • strengthen competitive advantage. 

It gives us a strong understanding of customer goals and needs across different interactions with our business. It also lets us identify gaps in the journey and shows the opportunity for additional touchpoints or where and how to improve existing ones.

What gives it great value is that we can get a strong understanding of our goals, activity, and capacity in relation to the customer journey. That gives us a good view of whether we are doing the right thing in the right way, and which issues we should focus on next. 

A simplified customer journey map

Customer journey map simplified

Identifying the flaw

Flaws can occur in any aspect of the product:

  • Development,
  • User experience, 
  • The offer, 
  • Delivery.

They can be design issues, performance issues, or customer service problems. 

The cause might not always be very clear. Low conversion could be due to technical issues, bad user experience, or due confusion over subscription terms.

And flaw indicators can come from different sources, from analytics, user complaints, user research, and competitors' analysis. 

Examples of flaws and indicators in different stages of the journey

Customer journey map simplified

Recognizing them is not always straightforward. Sometimes we need to dig deeper, do the research, and look for a cause. This could be through customer feedback, analytics, internal testing, or other methods. Mapping all those aspects can provide us with a good understanding. 

Here are some steps to help you identify flaws:

  • Listen to customer feedback
  • Monitor reviews and ratings
  • Do user research and usability testing
  • Conduct surveys
  • Analyze performance data
  • Compare to competitors
  • Seek feedback from employees

Don’t run away from research.

Some customer issues can be hard to detect and thus easy to leave out from the map. 

It is practically impossible to detect things like frustration, confusion, disappointment, or desires if customers don’t communicate that to us. It is hard to notice how location or external circumstances may impact their experience.

Customers may become frustrated if they encounter a technical issue with an online store's checkout process, but not express their frustration through feedback surveys or social media.

Or, they may have a negative experience at a restaurant due to factors such as long wait times or a noisy environment, but not express their dissatisfaction. 

We can capture all that by talking to customers and observing them.

Understand the impact

As it happens, we’ll probably identify numerous issues in our map that all scream to be fixed or improved. Sometimes that’s just not doable.

However, we can make informed decisions about how to address the issue and prioritize the necessary actions by assessing the impact of an issue on both your customers and your business. 

This can help us minimize the negative impact on our customers and our business while working towards a solution.

Determine the scope of each issue

Is it affecting a small subset of customers or a larger percentage? 

Is it impacting a specific feature or the entire product? 

Assess the impact on customers

Consider how the flaw is affecting your customers. 

Are they experiencing frustration or inconvenience?

Is it impacting their ability to use the product or service as intended? 

Evaluate the impact on your business

Consider how the flaw is impacting your business. 

Is it causing a loss of revenue or impacting customer retention? 

Is it damaging your brand reputation? 


As we very well know we can’t solve all problems at once. 

We can prioritize the necessary actions to address the flaw based on our assessment of the impact on customers and our business.

To prioritize which customer issues to fix we need to understand several things:

  • Customer issues that have the biggest impact on your business
  • The cost and effort required to fix each issue
  • The potential return on investment (ROI) for each issue

Addressing important issues doesn’t always go smoothly. 

The most important issues are not always easy to fix due to the high cost, lack of capacity, or the time it takes to fix them. In that case, we have to be creative and start thinking about a workaround, communicating with customers about the issue, or other measures.

Looking to learn the process or
in need of a strategy session?

Let's get in touch

Subscribe to Our Newsletters

Get actionable tips and expert advice that you can implement in your startup immediately!