Missing customer is a serious challenge in lean

Lean is all about adding value to customer. In our project, due to the nature of business, customers aren't involved in interactions with team. The product owner often is and has been the sole representer of customer interests. Given this condition, the challenge that I am faced with is how to bring the customer into picture and how to use these interactions to identify the value adds from his perspective and do onl ythose activities which are a value add.

The strategy often yields better results as finding the customer's real preferences without any assumptions often motivates any organization to classify wastes better and do those things which the customer values and pays for.

The identification and involvement of real customers is a real challenge given the realities and the challenge for which I am really bracing ahead and any lean practitioner should be.