Don’t ask, tell

We all know the quote “the customer is always right”.
It’s not adhered to as much today, but we still meet the demands of our customer through fear of what might happen if we don’t.

As business leaders today, when margins are tight we now need to look at different ways to do business and to explore “what we don’t know” rather than always delivering what our clients ask for.

Is the customer always right?
In some cases Yes and in some cases No.

Our challenge is to know which basket the advice sits, the Yes basket or the No basket.

In preparing this blog, I had a look at the design industry to see how they create something that we don’t even know we want.

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

Steve Jobs…. an outspoken guy who is known to us all in more ways than we think. Steve Jobs Founder of Apple, developing products we all use today. Yet had they asked what we wanted, our request would have looked very different.

“Any innovative company struggles with how much to listen to customers. Most realise that you cannot trust them to tell you what your next new product will be.”

And don’t forget this one….

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

Did Henry Ford give us a faster horse? Yes he did, but it didn’t have four legs and a saddle; instead it had four wheels, a steering wheel, at a cost effective price and now we rely on them every day, making our lives easier.

Next time your client asks for a faster horse, what will you give them?