“… a 75-year-old granny in Virginia, got so fed up waiting for Comcast to change her phone service that she smashed up a few items in her local Comcast office with a hammer, all the while shouting, “Have I got your attention now?!”
Consumer Guided Continuous Improvement (Continuous Innovation)
Yes six-sigma is important and other continuous improvement programs but listening to your users and customers is just as important (if not more important). Someone taking that grandma’s phone call and solving her problems is a very valuable act – a “small” innovation if you will. (We used to call it “good customer service” back in the day.)
Listening to Your Customer and Adapting Accordingly is Innovation
I define innovation as the “staging of value and/or the prevention of value loss”. I lowered the definition threshold to include as much value as possible for a reason. I believe that “small” innovations can be as valuable as “big” innovations when you look at the big picture over time.
You cut staff on branch-x. Branch-x is understaffed and begins to deliver crappy service. Grandma Hammer goes nuts. The funny and viral story is shared across word of mouth and word of mouse. X-million of dollars are lost in brand value and potential customers.
Results: the “savings” that you thought you were making by cutting staff have now turned in to a million dollar value loss for the entire brand.
Good customer service is not a thing of the past.
Keyword: Daniel Montano, Dan Montano, user experience design, information architect