A recent inc.com article, which challenged businesses to determine if their offering is a vitamin or a painkiller, caught my attention. In short:
- Your product is a vitamin if your product creates a stronger future state over time, and
- Your product is a pain killer if your product solves a specific hurt.
The author, Chris Heivly, asserts that as leaders, we must know what our offerings solve. I agree – but answering the question isn’t as easy as it sounds. Here are three steps to ensure your answer is correct.
You’re doing the right things. You’ve chosen your target customers wisely and found a set of needs you can solve for them better than anyone else can. People and teams across your organization are doing their best to make daily decisions that meet or exceed the requirements your customers value most. And you’re constantly re-evaluating and stopping processes that aren’t matching your target experience.
But, are you doing everything you can to stay one step ahead of your customers?
This time of year especially, the answer I hear often is “no.”
Over the last few days, I I’ve been looking to refresh my feed of customer experience blogs I read on a regular basis. Some I simply stumbled upon. Some are penned by colleagues and thought leaders I have followed for years. Others are suggested to me by people I trust.
As I worked to refine my list I kept coming back to the following 11 “core” blogs, which I really think do an outstanding job of discussing the issues surrounding customer experience (or dance around the outskirts of customer experience, but definitely cover the link between experience and financial performance).
A few weeks ago, I attended the Customer Experience Exchange North America in Miami. I am a bit tardy in posting these takeaways, which I’ll blame on the crazy number of planes I’ve been on since I left there. Yet I left the event thinking about six key lessons and what they might mean for our clients—and all of you.
Have you seen the scene on Showtime’s “The Big C” where the main character Cathy – who has stage-IV cancer – shows up two hours early for her clinical trial in order to “process in”? As she fills out paperwork and answers the nurse’s questions, she pulls piece after piece of information from a massive three-ring binder. That binder is the most tangible “integrated experience” she has, and she did all the work to assemble it. Cathy’s patient experience was fragmented, and driven more by payments and procedures rather than her own goals and milestones.
A blissfully twisted career path and a passion for the link between customer experience and financial performance. Gets excited when actions align to a target experience "front domino." More about Linda.
"Finally we have crisp thinking that dispels the myth that customer experience is a tradeoff to profitability. Step by step, Linda Ireland demonstrates that matching the daily decisions made in every function of your company to solve the problems of target customers drives financial performance." - Gary D. Blackford