It seems that not a day or an hour goes by without a company thinking about asking customers to help design and define not just the marketing tactics for their product, but the product itself.
Are we taking co-creating too far? Are we asking too much of our customers?
Running a business in today’s consumer-driven world may be a challenge. On one hand you have the opinions of customers to listen to and take into consideration. On the other, you have a real need to reinvent your business, to make innovation part of your cycle, or your customers will go where their ideas gain traction.
In “Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000,” Peter Blackshaw outlines six drivers of credibility that every organization interested in customer conversations should uphold. When it comes to customer service, many companies continue to fall short.
Most companies still measure customer service by the wrong metrics. Numbers instead of quality and resolution of a customer call. Until you have put things right by customers, do you have the right to ask them to help you create your new product?
There is indeed a sequence of events and corrections a company may need to put in place before earning the right to ask “how would you change our product” in a way that comes across as credible, authentic.
As Blackshaw writes in the book, there needs to be a fundamental realization that there is a gap between the corporate “faster/better/cheaper” and the authenticity necessary to earn customer ideas with a straight face.
Before asking “how would you change our product” some organizations will indeed need to understand what drives the conversation about their products and services and address their credibility in the marketplace.