What do customers really want? LO5971

John Paul Fullerton (jpf@mail.myriad.net)
Sat, 2 Mar 1996 16:27:16 -0600


Virginia Shafer said that leverage in reorganization may be found
through considering what real customers want.

I work at Texas A&M University and Leonard Berry is a professor here. He
was co-author of a book called "Delivering quality service: balancing
customer perceptions and expectations" as well as some other books.

In my opinion, some customer information gathering tools that are
associated with his work, while trying to be scientific in the sense of
not prompting answers, errs in not bringing forth what customers would
really want if they knew they could want such things.

Typically in project development - perhaps related to programming or
preparing written information - I find that options and benefit are not
immediately evident. Some perspective may be gained through iterating
through models or phases of the project. Sometimes unrelated input to my
thinking is nevertheless related to relevant discoveries. And knowledge
of "more understandable and usable means" changes my evaluation of
available means.

I wonder if customers would state their requests differently, if they
knew what their options were, including options that had not yet been
experienced. For example, one man wanted a good used car, thinking that
that was a reasonable request. When he realized that he could have a new
one, his request changed. That's just a simple, non-personal, and
highlighted example.

More relevant to my direct application, how could a library unit that
provides basically full-scope library service - from acquisition to
reference to circulation to financial find out what its customers want,
when the possibility exists of the unimagined state of best service?

This is not a rhetorical question! If anyone would like to provide a
response to the methods of quietly inquiring into customers' wants or
recommendations of proven ways of gaining important insights into
customers' wants, please comment.

Have a nice day
John Paul Fullerton


John Paul Fullerton <jpf@mail.myriad.net>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>