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Don’t Ditch Your Product, Ditch The Experience

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If you are wondering why your competition is speeding past you while your product is more sophisticated and feature-rich, you might stop looking at your engineers and start chatting with your customers. Sometimes a shift in your customer experience can turn your product into the flavor-of-the-month.

I was visiting with a friend who owns a landscape design company and we were talking about online review websites like Yelp. He has a five star rating on Yelp and does everything he can to maintain that rating because he has watched others in his industry suffer from just one bad review. His secret: Protect the customer experience.

In his case it can be as easy as responding to every phone call within one hour. Even if the response is, “Hi, I can’t talk immediately but you’re important. How about tomorrow?”

The key here is the phrase, 'You’re important'. Every customer wants to know they are important. It doesn’t mean you must do back-flips to keep everyone happy. But if you don’t actually believe every one of your customers is important, you may want to start considering how this is impacting your bottom line. And if your customers find out they aren’t important in your mind, you’ll see it immediately on the Internet. Whether it’s on social media, blogs or review sites, customers today are vocal.

Netflix learned this rule first hand when they did a massive overhaul of the way customers could purchase plans to access their media content in 2011. They increased the price and...

Read the rest of my thoughts here on my WIRED Innovation Insights blog.

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