Well, it’s unanimous then isnt’ it? Somewhere between 2007 and today, the world went completely mad. Was it the convergence of financial strain caused by the GFC, a fuelling of fear from hate crimes around the world, the rise in consumption of pointless YouTube clips or the perpetuation of the myth that every second person built a million dollar app. As an experimenteur, I’m overwhelmed by both the opportunities and the distractions to business that abound right now.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited by all this ‘noise’, by the accelerated change that’s challenging business models everywhere. The rise of disruptive technology is brilliant and well… disruptive. It’s just difficult to know where to put your energy and the challenge for business is how do you filter the disrupters from the game-changers?
When confronted with all this noise where do we go to make sense of it? Unfortunately the solution is not new (or everyone would be talking about it), it’s ‘old school’. It’s called focusing on your customers experience. It’s as relevant to digital as analogue.
No doubt that technological advancement will be the catch-cry of the twenty teens (2013-2020), but we have to stop and ask at what purpose? Tech for the sake of it is disruptive, pointless and somewhat addictive which is why now, more than ever, we need to hold firm to our customer value proposition.
Quite simply, it starts, as it always has, with understanding your customer needs and having a genuine focus on meeting this need/s. When was the last time you either felt incredibly proud of the experience you provided or when you were delighted by a brand experience? Why isn’t it happening all the time?
Brands are more than ever defined experientially and a growing number of those experiences are through a digital interface. So what does your brand stand for? What emotion are you looking to evoke in your customers? How do you want people to feel after having an experience with your brand? Importantly, does technology have a place to enhance or compromise that experience.
Getting back to basics is the critical element – ensuring that you have identified a customer need and building all facets of your business into meeting that need. Your brand should stand for something and there can be nothing more powerful that creating a positive emotional response in your customers, every time. Tech might help, but often technology will hinder the experience if not managed well.
I’m sure somewhere there is an ancient proverb that will go something like this: “The teapot, the tea cup, the tea leaves and time are as crucial to the experience of tea as the hot flavoured water“. Technology has made us instant tea but that’s not the point, it was never about the flavoured water, it’s about the ritual that calms us down and helps with focus.
So when you’re overwhelmed with all the distractions and technological hype, go back to when life was simple. Make yourself a traditional cup of tea, take some deep breaths and focus on understanding your customers needs and delivering them an amazing experience. Maybe technology will help create that feeling in your customers but it doesn’t start with tech. Tech is just a tool to help enhance your customers amazing experience with your brand.
Remember, your business starts with a customer, it’s built around the customer and paid for by the customer. Everything you do should be oriented around improving life for the customer. Need some resources to support that? Call me and let’s catch up for a pot of tea.
For further discussion, comments or enquiries email Troy Flower at firstname.lastname@example.org or call within Australia on 0447 66 66 91. For international enquiries call +61 447 66 66 91. Tea is optional, coffee works too!