Imagine you ordered a cheeseburger. But as you prepare to dig in, you discover there is no cheese. Now you just have a burger. I recently spoke to a customer who had a “burger only” experience. He rented a backhoe and was ready to dig in at his construction site. But the bucket was loose and the dig was a disaster. You guessed it — no cheese.
This summer, we finished rewriting a major part of our customer portal software to make it easier to use.
It took a lot of time, money, nights and weekends, and we ran into our fair share of bugs and headaches along the way.
After we had launched the update, I thought “rewrites aren’t for the risk averse!”
First, I must attribute the idea for the blog to Doug Fowler, our COO. After one particular frustrating service call with a software provider, he came into my office and said “Let’s look for another vendor. It is just too difficult to deal with this company!”His frustration got me thinking about how customer expectations are always changing.
Our business helps clients improve the service experiences they provide to their customers. When we start working with a new client, it is always an interesting experience. Typically, the first concern is being flooded by disputes through our interviewers in the course of following up with customers. “Will our staff be able to handle them?” lamented one senior manager. In another case, after three months of surveying, an executive vice president of a company came into the office of our contact and questioned the validity of the numbers. In his words, “Our customers don’t like us this much!”
In 1942 Joseph Schumpeter, an economist, coined the phrase “creative destruction” to describe the process by which innovation continually upends products and markets. After reading excerpts of his writings this week, I thought about three simple examples outlined below. But the key message is that product manufacturers cannot assume the products they sell now will be in demand in the future.