What do customers really want? LO6052

Fri, 8 Mar 1996 14:51:18 -0800

Replying to LO5999

Bill wrote:
>Ten years ago how many Americans would have identified a
>cellular phone as a need, or a pager, or an ATM machine.

I think it is vital to understand that we might need to go outside what
the customer can think of. And don't think you can get help from your
'Marketing Depts'. I understand that CNN and the SONY Walkman were both
'rejected' by 'market research' because 'customers' had no *experience* on
which to base questions about would they use it or not.

Sometimes this exercise of 'figuring out what the client is going to need,
so that we can provide it to them when we all get to that (phase, place,
time, etc. . .)' can be helped along by re-framing what is our company and
who are our clients.

For example, one of my clients is a small company, here in Montevideo,
which teaches English to business-people. When they started, they were
just some English teachers who got together to teach English in business
situations. But, customers asked for a few extra things (translations,
courses in other languages, etc. .).

When they went to a 'meta level' to understand themselves better, they
discovered that they were in the business of 'Language in Business'. Now,
they continue to have the bread-&-butter English courses, but also a
series of other services (consultanting in negotiations, sponsoring and
supporting consultants from Europe and the USA, etc. .) all based in their
knowledge of languages. And they are doing these 'new' things before the
customer asked for them.


Rodger Bailey rcbailey@alfa.adinet.com.uy

Designing and Auditing Interventions

Using the LAB Profile System: - for Understanding, Predicting, and Influencing - the Thinking and Behavior - of Individuals, Organizations, and Cultures

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