So, anytime a new service pops up, I jump on to experiment. Enter Fiverr, where you can find gigs/help starting at $5. Being that I’m looking to create a multifunction widget for my blog, I saw it as an opportunity to go to Fiverr and find someone who could do what I need for $5.
On Fiverr, I saw a dude who “sells himself” as a WordPress Guru. So, I thought he should know. Turns out he doesn’t. But, if he’s a WordPress Guru, then he should know people who can do this specific job that I’m asking for. Right?
So, where’s this dude’s value?
His value stopped at “I can do this for $5”. That’s where it stopped.
It is situations like these where companies deny themselves from adding more value, and keeping a relationship with the prospect/customer. The situation above, is something that would not have happened at Zappos. They would have referred me to someone else. Their value doesn’t stop at free shipping. Their value flows to what I need. Because by telling their employees that their customer’s happiness is the goal, that opens the door to “acts of awesome”, such as sending prospects to a competitors website if Zappos doesn’t have the specific product the customer is looking for.
It is a principle Zappos follows to the T.
This is not business-as-usual because they deliberately open doors by being of service to the customer. Not themselves. In other words, they focus on the customer’s preferred outcome. If you are an outstanding networker, then you know what this means.
Of course, this attitude scares the pants off most companies. They’ll immediately ask: why should we? Customer lock-in is the goal.
Now, you might be asking, like the dude above “what if we don’t really know anyone?”. Well, you find someone. Simple as that.
If you know your stuff/industry, then you should know who does what. By opening your resources, you go above and beyond the call of duty to help me reach my outcome. Nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know”. But, you are wrong if you can’t overcome that obstacle.
This is one example of the “experience bugs” that I help spot and overcome for companies. If you want to spot opportunities for “adding value”, call me.
Anyway, how do you start rethinking how you add value?
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is the customer’s preferred outcome? Do our protocols serve the customer’s needs? What stupid rules do we have to remove for them to reach their outcome?
- What business are we really in? <— key question to ask and shift your perspective.
- How are we denying ourselves of adding more value?
Innovation, change or whatever you want to call it, is a human activity. Technology is an enabler to amplify/enhance our capabilities. This isn’t a new insight, but when developing solutions, people and organizations tend to forget or ignore that simple insight. No one has a monopoly on opportunities for innovation/redefinition/awesomeness, change your perspective and you will see them.
Bottom line: Be a resource, focus on outcomes and expand the pie.