Customers appreciate simplicity, but figuring out how to streamline can be difficult for many companies. Research has found the most important factor in creating customer “stickiness” is “decision simplicity,” i.e., the ease of getting credible information in the midst of marketing noise. Engage your customers in simplifying your business — and make it easier for them to work with you — with these tips.
• Figure out what your customers do all day. What do they think about first in the morning? What’s the toughest part of their day? Try giving your customers a diary to track their activities, or spend a day shadowing a customer, to understand their unmet needs.
• Listen to your critics. Consider asking non-customers why they don’t do business with you. Intentionally including people who dislike your product or service in a focus group can lead to more provocative conversations. Better yet, invite naysayers to join planning meetings to discuss which enhancements could change their perception of your organization.
Adapted from “Let Your Customers Streamline Your Business” by Ron Ashkenas and Lisa Bodell.