What You Are Already Doing

By on May 30, 2014

Seth Godin gave us another brilliant post recently. It described how difficult it is for most people to understand why they would benefit from a new service that does not exist today. They get stuck in believing that what the world they know is already is good enough and in telling themselves why they do not need something. If new ideas are introduced, however, these people are good at describing what is wrong with them.

In the journey toward customer-centricity, it’s easy for organizations to explain what they already are doing well for the customer. It’s another thing altogether to ask them to explain what they could have done better. Fortunately for businesses that have difficulty with creating change because they are on the status quo treadmill, most customers cannot articulate what they want either.

However, when companies commit to innovation and the spirit of introducing new ideas new ideas before they are asked for, then customers get to communicate what they value through their purchase preferences. In this way, organizations receive feedback about why customers did make their choices. This is the new world of customer relationships.

Bluelarix Designworks, for example, uses a people-centered approach “to design meaningful products that mean an improvement for the user in terms of experience, interaction or ergonomics.” Using user observations and the right interpretation, they created a medical alarm that is truly safer for hospital and care home patients calling for assistance. The rubber strap is designed in such a way that while the patient is sleeping and turning in bed, the cable can never become dangerously attached around the patient’s neck.

When a spring-loaded weighing handle, which adapts to any type of suitcase, was invented by Selma Durand, it allowed customers to know how heavy their bags were before paying additional fees at the airport. With both the medical alarm and the suitcase handle, customers never asked for these improvements, but the design thinking mindset in both companies pushed them to create these new ideas.

Successful companies know how to get beyond what they are already doing. The ability for organizations to develop a culture that wants to show customers “what can be” is the secret behind sustaining a worldview that embraces customer-centricity.

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