thinking like a customer

thinking like a customer

Double Opportunities

By on July 27, 2011

AirlineCompartment_lrgWhat if you heard your airline, after your plane landed, announce “You don't have to worry when opening the overhead bins because we have designed a feature which will not allow your bags to shift during the flight.”

Instead of the warning that is probably repeated thousands of times on all airlines every day--to use caution when opening overhead bins--it would be nice to hear that they have handled the situation. It would be practical and valuable because, in fact, this is a problem for both the passengers (if the baggage fell out and hurt someone) and for the employees (who have to repeat the warning day after day). It’s a double opportunity.

Or, what if a rental car company advertised that its cars are the cleanest in the industry? Instead of being happy with an average job done by their cleaning crews, they could “own” that niche in the market. Think of the potential advertising campaign that could happen. How quickly would word spread among customers if one rental car company claimed to be cleanest--and backed up that claim? Customers would know they are never going to have to worry about picking up a dirty car when they rent from the company. Employees would routinely clean to the higher standard and, therefore, have fewer cars returned by customers to be re-cleaned. They would also have more pride in working for the company that promises the cleanest cars. It’s another double opportunity.

When you attain that type of differentiation, you have premium positioning against the competition.

One-dimensional companies look at what they can or cannot do, rather than what the customer needs or values. Customer-centered companies think proactively and innovate in ways that will benefit the customer. These creative ideas almost always work out better for employees, as well. That’s why they are double opportunities.


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