Customer-led-Innovation is the title that Vern Burkhardt gave to the meaty interview he did with me a couple of weeks ago, which has just been posted on Idea Connection. I undergo a LOT of interviews. This one was more rewarding than most. It was an in depth conversation. I want to applaud Vern for doing his research, phrasing his questions well, and editing my responses to make them sound more coherent than they probably were at the time.
Here are a few excerpts of my quotes from that interview:
"Often the most important thing that customers care about is their time. For example, we were doing a customer co-design with Amazon and Amazon retailers. Retailers were trying to decide whether or not to host their online shopping site using the Amazon software. The retailers said, "We love your infrastructure, Amazon, but your contracts take us about sixty days to negotiate between your and our lawyers, and we only have thirty days to make this decision and get going before the next Christmas season. So we can't take 60 days to negotiate a contract. We have to have something that can be done in two days." As soon as Amazon realized this was an issue they were able to change their contract terms to make it much easier to quickly reach agreements. As a result, they were able to close a lot more of those deals."
"A customer who is at Harrah's Casino Hotel with $200 to spend over a weekend to enjoy a little fun gambling, spends $150 of it on Friday night may not enjoy the whole weekend if the money for gambling runs out too soon. Harrah's exhibits a customer-focused culture because it monitors customers' net gambling losses so it knows when it's time to give a free theatre or dinner ticket, for example, to stretch their gambling enjoyment across the whole weekend....You can tell if a company is really customer-centred if every employee knows how customers measure success, and how they can meet these expectations."
"We discovered when you engage .. passionate, insightful, thoughtful 'lead customers' in customer scenario mapping sessions you get much better results. These are the folks who are great to engage in customer co-design or customer scenario mapping because they won't merely take you down the tried and true cow paths. They have already tried to do a lot of things with your current products and services, which didn't meet their needs. They're always pushing the envelope to try to invent new things."
Read the rest of the Idea Connection Conversation between Vern and Patty.