Thinking Outside-In

“No, you cannot have it your way, this is not Burger King,” read the sign on the door outside the phone bank in customer service. No customer would ever see this sign, but you can be sure it was heard in every voice on every call.

Many companies create a wonderful technical product or service, stick out a shingle and no one bites. They structure their services like a menu in a restaurant, so they can deliver consistent, reliable and predictable quality, but their customers remain few. So what’s the problem?

The problem is the direction of thinking. Sure it would be nice if customers would buy things exactly the way we wanted to sell them, but they don’t. This thinking is inside-out.

Think about your product or service from the outside-in. Examine every point of contact with your customer to see if it was designed for your convenience or for the customer’s benefit. Your underlying product or service may not change, but your customer might see a whole new you, from their perspective, outside-in. And take down that stupid sign. -TF

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