“What matters to me as a customer is getting everything for free. I’d appreciate it if all organisations could just go ahead and arrange that please. No, I didn’t think so.”
This comment left on a recent post shows the typical command and control response to the idea that organisations should find out what matters to customers.
There’s a fear that the customer will turn out to be a unreasonable diva demanding the moon on a stick.
This is total balls.
It is a fear caused by ignorance, ignorance of what actually matters to customers and a knee jerk response to a loss of control, that customers should get what they’re given.
Instead of giving in to this fear, find out what matters to customers by studying them. Get data. Don’t just ASSUME what they like and need.
Find out by observing what matters to them. Ask them even. It’ll not be unsurprising if they say in large enough numbers that price matters to them. They might not though, I’m guessing that a patient in the NHS wouldn’t even imagine that price would be a factor. Just as much as a customer in the market for a burger and fries to eat quickly on the go, that they wouldn’t expect Macdonald’s to give’em away for free.
I’m guessing this, YOU however should go study, get data, find out empirically.
But what you don’t do is guess. Like this character leaving the comment above guessing that of course everybody wants stuff for free. I do! I’d LOVE stuff for free! But it’s not what matters to me. What matters depends. I want free air,I don’t want pay for it. But I’m fine with paying a reasonable amount for a burger.
But if I’m looking for a burger what matters is different from what matters when I’m booking a holiday, or buying a car. Cost, price, free things, all depend on the context.
If you find that customers predictably do want everything for free, then you are in a tough business. Perhaps you’re selling sand to Arabs or snow to Eskimo? There’s plenty other customers out there, perhaps try selling sand to Eskimo and snow to Arabs instead?
I once had a manager who had the same attitude as the commenter, that asking customers what they wanted is silly. He worked in Local Government and said if we asked residents what they wanted, actual words, “they’d all want swimming pools“.
Now I’m guessing this not the case. But don’t guess, go study. Find out. That old manager never did, they thought just as the commenter did, that customers are free-loaders who will take you for a mug if you let them.
Now I think THAT is living in cloud Cuckoo land.