• The 60 Second Leader
  • Seven Secrets of Inspired Leaders
  • The Little Book of Leadership
  • Leadership Hub for Corporates
  • Learning to Live with Huntington's Disease

Don’t ask customers what they want

Gary Hamel told me this recently in an interview:

“Companies have relied rather too much on traditional customer research and consumer marketing. If you look at those that have really changed the customer experience and customers’ expectations, most of them have done it from a deep insight into unarticulated needs.

We’re talking about things that customers can’t even know yet, so no point asking them! By the time a customer starts talking about something and asking for it or complaining that you don’t do it, it’s too late.”

Other ‘gurus’ like Tom Peters recommend seeking out ‘leading edge’ customers – the awkward ones who seem to be in advance of the others and are always making demands on you that you can’t currently meet. Maybe they are too small and too kooky for you to pay attention to. But one or two of them are early arrivals at where your other customers will arrive soon. So, listen to them to get ahead. Hamel says something similar. I have a quote from him about Nokia that I will dig out and post to reinforce the point.

This tip is a sample from a book series I am putting together called
One A Day
365 Practical Ways to
Get Closer
to Your Customers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *