Tuesday, 22 March 2011

One of innovation’s ‘Magic Gifts!’

I was asked the other day as to whether ‘listening to customers is a good thing?’ That is, should organisations listen and building their clients wishes and demands into their product/service/experience/ performance, etc?
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I paused for a moment… Then replied ‘Not exactly!’
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‘WHY???’
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Because that’s just the tip of the issue!
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‘Listening’ is reactive, and therefore too often lagging and off centre. It’s also retrospective, relying on people’s actual experiences.
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Further, ‘asking’ people what the want – even with quite sophisticated methods – is hit and miss; as different people have different moods at different times; have short-term-detail memories; have a stupendously broad range of personalities, and even have quite weird subjective experiences with the gizmo or venture they’ve parted hard earned money for.
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So, don’t listen to customers, but DESIGN THEM A GIFT!
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‘What the fuck are you on about?’ my pal affronted.
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Well, have you ever given a ‘GIFT’ to a friend you know extremely well? And immediately their eyes open wide, go bright with joy, and the atmosphere of the room goes warm and exhilarating?
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‘How did you know’, they screech, ‘how did you know?”
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And that’s the job of the innovator. To know their customer so intuitively well, that when they launch a new brain child, the customer-base reacts in a similar – metaphorical - way. They love it, and the market goes high.
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So, to do that, the innovator has to build acute customer empathy; learn their habits and patterns; discover their values and likes in their world, even their dislikes! And by thinking and behaving in this way, you’ll find that building empathy happens very quickly. And when that happens, your chances of getting a winner sky rockets.
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SO DESIGN AND BUILD YOUR CUSTOMER A MAGIC GIFT!
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