Forbes – 5/3/18
[Ed. Note: Byline by Ronica Roth, practice Lead to CA's agile consultancy, helping leaders & orgs deliver faster learning cycles and happier customers]
Success in business today — in the face of constant and rapid change — means giving customers what they need. However, the mistake most people in business make is trying desperately to give customers what they want. The customer is king. Customers have infinite choice, and if you don’t give them what they want, they’ll switch to someone who can. So the theory goes.
But do customers really know what they want? And if you give it to them, will they still want it in a week? A month? A year? Chasing desires feels like a losing proposition. Take Google Glass, for example: a really cool concept that keeps pace with consumers’ ever-growing demand for information at their fingertips (or eyeballs, in this case). In concept, consumers wanted this ability for constant information, but in execution, well, we know how that fared.
A more interesting and useful pursuit is to figure out what customers need and give them that. Every individual customer is the No. 1 expert in their own desires, and these desires can range greatly based on background, personality and perspective. But as companies, we can be experts in particular sets of needs for particular groups of customers. We can hone that expertise and delight customers by understanding and anticipating their needs better than they do.