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3 Tips From AMC Networks’ Saleem Malkana On Customer-Centricity For Product Development

As Vice President of Product at AMC Networks’ direct-to-consumer startup, which operates premium subscription video services Shudder and Sundance Now, Saleem Malkana leads the strategy and roadmap of the user experience to deliver innovative experiences across web, mobile devices and TVs.

During his recent talk at Product World Forum New York, a day-long summit hosted by World Forum Disrupt, Malkana preached the importance of customer-centricity during the development process. He says companies need to ask themselves: 

● What are we good at? 

● Who are our customers? 

● What do they need? 

Here are three of his ideas on keeping your eyes on the consumer: 

1. Don’t ask leading questions, especially when you do user testing in person. When you seek affirmation and ask leading questions, you don’t get the real knowledge you need. Focus on questions that unpack user behavior and habits. “The point here is to understand underlying pain, underlying want and need,” Malkana says. 

2. Making hard choices earlier relieves a lot of pain later on, so get specific about whom you’re serving. Malkana urges the audience to, “Talk to your users. User-research is imperative. You have to realize you can’t serve everyone. You can’t serve every age demographic, every gender demographic, every location, every country.” 

3. Organizing UX research versus product? An audience member asks Malkana about how teams can work together. Malkana says they all go hand in hand. “A lot of our customer research around user experience is part of our design team because we see that as part of the workflow of creating successful user experiences. In the prioritization of what are we building, how we’re going to understand the customers. So that kind of sits within UX and design. And then we also partner with our marketing retention team who is the most in contact with customers, often via support, email campaigns, things like that, because they have a pretty direct line of communication to the customers.” 

Watch Saleem’s full presentation above and many more, free on WFD TV.

Reporting courtesy of Jess Morin of Upward Hartford.

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