Real Innovation Puts Trends In Their Place
Market research and customer surveys are incredibly useful in some cases, but real innovation must look past customer comments and see what causes pain points
By Rhonda Rohtstein
Working at a company committed to making real improvements to customer experience and the CX industry, our teams are always eager to attend regional meetings like the SOCAP (Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals) event hosted by Blount Fine Foods (who of course helped provide a fantastic lunch to keep us fueled and focused), and sponsored by Premiere Response last Thursday.
In our experience, these regional events have lived up to their billing — great for local networking, gaining insights on business and personal development, and generally promoting the community of a given region. Thursday’s event revolved around a particularly relevant theme for Zappix and one we try to convey to our clients often: innovation and differentiation mean figuring out what customers want before they know they want it.
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”
Two quotes set up the theme of discussion for the day. One supposedly from Henry Ford, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse,” and one from Steve Jobs, “Customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.”
Of course, market research has its place. We talk about them all the time at Zappix. Consumers are great at telling us about their current experiences, the things they use, and why they like or dislike them. Thinking about the future and creating new solutions depends on understanding these experiences and determining how to improve them in ways customers usually miss. It’s not their job to invent new technology and provide the best CX. It’s ours.
Market research has been incredibly useful at Zappix for discovering the real complaints and pain points consumers experience every day while using current customer service channels and tools. Our innovation and product development revolves around four key principles:
Steve Jobs saw customers in love with music but annoyed by loading 12 songs at a time onto MP3 players. He recognized the need for computers but knew consumers were overwhelmed by their complexity and the learning curve needed to start using them. At Zappix we know customers want to get back to using the product or service they’ve purchased and spend less time involved with customer service. Real solutions to customer queries delivered ASAP. Customer service delivered on-demand. That’s innovative.