Include the user in your (project) team. This is extremely important to safeguard that you will have an outside-in view in developing services/solutions but also in maintaining this. And of course the user must be placed in a multi disciplinary team.
User can be included in many ways. Via research, go out, talk to them and observe what they do. But also as user groups for input and reflecting. The most famous way is to include them via user testing. Which method you choose depends on how easy it is to involve them, the wished outcome and the future involvement. But you will see that you always learn when you interact with them.
Listening to users is an expertise. They will talk to you in solutions but you need to listen to find to the problem. Open questions are important for that.