Why a pandemic is a good time to experiment and innovate on behalf of your customers

Why a pandemic is a good time to experiment and innovate on behalf of your customers.

Experiment and innovate during the pandemic!

A good idea for a product or service needs to be transformed into a value proposition that delivers clear benefits to customers that experiment and innovate during the pandemic.

Every business needs one thing: customers. Without customers, there are no sales, and without sales, there is no business. The development of the digital world opened the door to many new businesses and allowed many innovative ideas to be realized. However, reality has shown that sometimes a good idea is not enough.

A good idea for a product or service needs to be transformed, into a value proposition that delivers clear benefits to customers.

That is a value proposition that will help them solve a problem, fulfill a need, or move from state A to state B.

Most people don’t want to buy product A or service B, but rather solve a problem using product A or service B. The sale happens when the customer feels the perceived value of the solution is higher than the price he will have to pay for the product or service.

This idea was brilliantly articulated in 1960 by Professor Theodore Levitt, who said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole” and, more recently, by Seth Godin: “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”

In fact, some studies show that one of the main reasons why startups fail is that they lack a market for their products and services. Perhaps the products and services did not meet any consumer needs, or the companies couldn’t communicate the benefits of their products and services.

Digitization is not panacea

Since lockdown, many brick and mortar stores and businesses have come online for the first time. Going online is must if a business wants to survive in a time like this, but digitisation is not the “vaccine” for your business.

For years, we have heard hundreds of consultants talk about digital transformation and how technology can help you serve your client better, improve their experience, and help you retain them.

It’s a promise that sells easily, but it also carries several risks. A large part of creating a digital strategy involves the “customer journey”.

To map this, the service provider analyses the customer’s experience at different stages – from seeing an ad to purchasing the service – and details the interactions at each point of contact.

Unfortunately, this type of advice is causing many companies to react to the effects of the pandemic in the wrong way.

All the measures (like social distancing) put in place to protect the spread of the coronavirus have abruptly changed the way we engage in practically all activities in public places.

Thus, the pandemic is an opportunity to discover new ways of relating to customers – not only by adding digital channels but also by completely rethinking our relationship with our target audiences.

How do we do this?

Let’s start with the “why” – by thinking about, say, why our clients want to make a bank transaction today. Why they would be willing to buy pants without trying them on? Why they would continue to order their favourite dish from a restaurant, without the soothing music or the pleasant company of friends?

What do they really expect of us as service providers? Write down all the ideas that come to mind. Then think of a new offer, a new way of relating to your customers, and implement simple solutions that allow you to test new relationship avenues that not only replace the previous experience but also improve it.

Think of solutions as more than just a patch. Instead, consider them as things that are here to stay, that will accompany us into the new normal. Start with a couple of loyal clients and make them a part of the design, brainstorming, solution development, and testing.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Take advantage of the fact that everyone is in the pilot stage. This is just one more experiment among many. But if we do something new – not just create a digital version of the reality we know – we will have advanced our companies towards a truly new stage.


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