New ideas are essential to company success. Without new ideas, there is no growth or improvements. However, after a while ideas get stale; working on the same problems with the same people can result in the same ideas.

Don’t worry, you do not have to fire everyone to get fresh ideas. Your people simply need to start thinking more creatively and looking to new places for ideas. Researching problems is a great way to find new, creative ideas for innovative solutions and products that respond to a known customer need. Following are 8 ways to find problems to boost your creative ideas.

  1. Customer Service – This is the most obvious and probably the most used method. If your company already regularly receives reports from the customer service department about common issues people are reporting then make sure you are looking at the reports for ideas. However, if your company does not regularly check with customer service, then your next great idea should be a process for open communication between customer service and the idea/solution people.
  2. FAQ / Troubleshooting Guides – Review your company manuals to see what the engineers have identified as common questions and problems. What can be done to eliminate them? You can also go a step further by seeing what other companies have listed in their FAQs and troubleshooting guides. Maybe they have a solution you have not considered or identified a problem you have not. Can you use their information in a new way?
  3. YouTube – Are people posting videos about your products or your industry? What are they about? Searching the types of “How to” videos people are posting provides an insight into the types of problems, questions, and work-arounds people have. You may be able to create a solution so people do not need to have a work-around.
  4. Keyword Searches – There are sites and apps that let you track common searches people perform. This allows you to see the types of searches people conducted on Google, YouTube, Amazon, and other sites about your product or industry. This is another way to delve into the minds of your customers. What are they looking for? What do they want? What do they need?
  5. Observe People – Observe people shopping for your products. What questions do they ask sales people? How do they compare your product with other products? Observe how they interact with your product. Do they have trouble assembling? Do they put it away and forget about it?
  6. Survey – Survey your customers. Find out what they want and what is important to them. They may have great ideas you have not considered.
  7. Other Companies – What are your competitors doing? Is it something you should be doing too? How can you do it better?
  8. New Technologies – Companies are always looking for ways to incorporate new technologies into their products and their companies. However, have you considered the problems that new technologies create. How might your company solve those problems for yourself and others? You may discover a new product simply by solving a problem created by another industry.

To learn how your company can improve its idea generation, contact BrainSpark powered by Radcom.