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Giving Your Customers What They Want.. Opens Up a Lot of S***, But It Isn't Always the Key to Success...

combatbusinessblog Apr 07, 2022
I just saw this meme online, (again..) and I had to write about it because it's SO IMPORTANT! But NOT for the reasons that most people think!
A TON of people see these examples of industry giants falling..
"Netflix didn't kill Blockbuster.. they did it to themselves by not being customer-centric.." etc.. 
And they take it to mean that if you listen to your customer and give them what they want, then you will be successful..
Or at least.. not necessarily..
You also run the risk of giving your customers everything they want & you going under because what people are asking for is ridiculous, wastes your time, costs you too much money,
Or... you come to realize that making one group of people happy pisses off a completely separate group that you hadn't thought about..
Or... you notice that people ask for stuff all the time that they will never actually use? They just like to ask for stuff?
(How many of you have clients tell you that they 'would totally train' in that 6:00am flying triangle class every other Sunday morning... if you ONLY HAD IT!! 🙄🙋🏻‍♂️
The customer is always right... until they aren't..
Listen to their suggestions... unless their suggestions are shitty...
People got mad at Blockbuster because of their ridiculous late fees... but Netflix didn't eliminate late fees.. They revolutionized the way we rented media. They eliminated the need for the store & brought DVD's directly into people's homes. (& oh by the way... they STILL charged you if you kept the movies too long, you just bought them.)
They didn't just eliminate the biggest complaint of the giant in the industry, the INNOVATED & changed the game.
Being customer-centric is important.. but SUPER successful people.. the revolutionaries.. they understand that people don't always know what's best.. we have to tell them.
Henry Ford once said, "If I would have asked my customers what they want, they would have said 'faster horses.'
A moderately successful person screams at the top of his lungs, "We have the fastest horses in town!"
an Innovator says... "What you really need is a CAR."
A short term thinker sees that obesity rates in this country are staggering & they listen to people who say, they don't have time for the gym & they don't like it...
So they say... "Come to my big box gym, we have all of the equipment you could ever want, 87 different classes, we are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and we'll even give you pizza on Friday's because we know you love pizza!! who doesn't love pizza!! 🤤
Problem solved, right??
These gyms are successful for a time.. but they all have life cycles.. We've all seen these big box gyms change names & become the next big name every 5 years or so...
But WE can outlast the fads. We can be the long term successes. IF we understand that giving customers everything they want IS NOT the key to success.
INNOVATION is the key to our success and our longevity. We don't need to be open 24 hours per day & run ourselves ragged trying to be all things to all people..
WE need to be the people who EDUCATE people on what they NEED to do and then finally SHOW them with REAL RESULTS that YOUR SOLUTION will solve their problem.
That's how you build a truly successful business that outlasts the fads & keeps both you AND your clients happy for many years to come.