Your customers are complaining that your product isn’t as cool as the competition. You feel the heat of your sales force breathing down your neck because they don’t like making excuses to customers about how it works, and your customer support team spends twice as much time apologizing than they do solving actual problems. Essentially, in your rush to engineer a great product and solve some very important problems, you’ve let your appearance get sloppy.
It’s Not Your Product, It’s the Experience
You can’t go to engineering and have them build a new feature to fix this, because it’s not an engineering problem. It’s a customer experience problem. The reason you are having this problem is because you’re not paying attention to the details in your user experience. How can you tell? An experience problem can be identified by how much confusion and frustration a customer has when asked to perform a specific task. Even though you’ve engineered a solution, if there is any confusion or frustration to complete the task, it’s an experience problem.
If Your Pants Have Loops, Wear a Belt
When I was in my twenties I liked to wear baggy pants… really baggy pants. One day I gave a speech in front of a group of realtors who were at least twenty years older than me. My talk made a number of great points, but it fell on deaf ears. Afterward a gentleman pulled me aside and said, “son, if your pants have loops, wear a belt. You’ll make a much better impression next time.” He was right. Whenever I am asked to speak, I dress up nicely and wear a belt, because it’s about respecting and perfecting the entire experience, not just the content or the message.
Read the rest of my thoughts here on my WIRED Innovation Insights blog.