What good is a business if it doesn’t have customers? That’s right — it’s nothing. Most businesses, on the other hand, have a poor knowledge of what it takes to connect with, and thus keep, customers. Marketing and product development are still about establishing a need for a product that the company has previously produced for these businesses.
Some businesses, on the other hand, use a different approach to interacting with customers: they figure out what they need and what important to them. Such organizations are able to lead innovation and brand awareness by understanding their customers, maximizing customer happiness and developing a meaningful relationship for both company and customer. This is described in greater detail in Bernadette Jiwa’s book, Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly.
Every day, a slew of new products and services hit the market. And some of them are the result of a truly groundbreaking concept: products and services that make your life easier, more fun, and, simply put, better. A fantastic product, on the other hand, does not ensure client satisfaction.
In reality, today’s clients demand products and services that actually consider their needs. This hasn’t always been the case. In the past, a taxi driver wouldn’t be too concerned if a customer was disgusted by his cab because the two were unlikely to meet again. Negative customer experiences have little impact on sales.
All of that is changing, thanks to apps like Lyft and Uber. That’s because Lyft keeps track of how long your ride lasts, who drove you, and how enjoyable your ride was. As a result, the emphasis is placed on the quality of the ride, and the customer’s input is crucial.
So, what does this signify for the corporate world as a whole? It is critical to remain relevant to your customers. That includes keeping track of their habits and tailoring your product or service to their preferences. Google’s development of Google Images is a wonderful example.
It began as a search engine, like so many others, but grew in popularity by displaying users not just what they search for, but also what they want. So, rather than having tech-savvy developers, Google’s success came from attentively monitoring users and wisely applying the knowledge gained from that observation.
Jennifer Lopez, for example, wore a see-through Versace dress with an open neckline to the 2000 Grammy Awards. The gown became so well-known that it was given its own Wikipedia page, but it also created a difficulty for Google to overcome. People were dying to see images of the dress, which quickly became (up to that point) the most googled object ever. As a result, Google Images was born.
The birth of the internet and the digital age have made chances a dime a dozen; anyone can invent and connect with people all over the world. So, why do some businesses continue to outperform their competitors? One word comes to mind: empathy.
Making new, better products isn’t the only way to innovate. It’s all about creating products that are meaningful to the people who use them. Take Apple, for example. Apple’s underlying success resides in its customer-driven business strategy, which may appear to be driven by design. For example, while the Apple Watch was being developed, the company spent two years pondering how a wristwatch could help people. As a result, the watch’s hardware and software were designed around how people would actually use it.
How could Apple have foreseen that? To gather and prioritize information on the product’s design, the team watched the reactions of people wearing it. Let’s say you receive a notification that you have a new text message. The watch will either display the message or leave it unread depending on how long you hold your wrist up.
This helpful feature was simple to implement and did not cost billions of dollars – all it took was a simple observation of a customer in action. Many firms, on the other hand, presume that if they think their ideas are wonderful, so will their customers. Apple, in fact, is a wonderful example of this, because everyone makes mistakes.
Consider the debut of the iPhone 6, which caused the automatic transfer of U2’s new album to every iPhone owner’s iPhone and iTunes account. Worst of all, you didn’t have the option of deleting it! What is the issue? Apple thought it was delivering a great gift, but it failed to understand that the majority of customers perceived it as an intrusion.
Check out my related post: Are you the ideal customer for a startup product?