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.
When I’m engaged with leaders who are diagnosing the gaps and opportunities between a current and target customer experience, I am often asked about where other firms came out as they were doing the same exercise. In this initial baseline scoring between what is and what could be, what leaders really want to know is whether there are common experience steps most companies discover they are doing wrong. (Or, if you’re an optimist like me, is there anything everyone gets right?)
Across hundreds of customer experience diagnostics confirmed by our research, I find myself answering YES. There are indeed three steps in the experience that commonly pop up as “big gaps and opportunities” or as I like to think of them, potholes to be avoided.
Within one week of each other, I received two different follow-up emails, for two different travel experiences. And I was left with two very different impressions. A comparison of the two turned out to be a startling snapshot of the customer experiences of these companies.
Is your customer experience making you money? Is it costing you money? Do you know?
We hear it all the time from hospitals and clinics: We offer a patient-centered experience. But, how true is that statement in reality? A friend of mine recently relayed a story that tells us that the patient is in the center, but her recent “patient at the center” experience runs contrary to the intent of those claims.
When people are the product, they become the pawns: Why LinkedIn users should be outraged about the recent hack
I’m a premium-paying member of LinkedIn. So when 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords were compromised by Russian hackers last week, I was a little miffed that I heard about it from a friend who got a note from a friend that works in (and heard it from) a local sheriff’s office.
Why didn’t LinkedIn send me an email, or an InMail? Their action relied on me to visit the site, and that strikes me as, well, as if they were hoping the fewest number of people would find out. If they truly acted immediately, how could they align “those who will visit the site in the next day or so” with the 6.5 million passwords that were hacked? This chapter of my LinkedIn experience leaves me wondering about whether LinkedIn views me as a customer, or my content as their product.