Let’s talk customers today!
I don’t know about you, but I have become a bit of a customer experience aficionado over the years.
Especially coming from Australia where customer service can be seriously lacking.
I work with clients to help them improve their customer experience, and especially in the smaller business, start up world to design their customer experience from the ground up.
This is where a framework like the Business Model Canvas becomes a great tool to help business design their customer experience.
In this article I am just focussing on four aspects of the Canvas; customer segments, value proposition, customer relationships and channels.
A fundamental question to ask, for me, is for whom are we creating value?
And so begins the journey to focusing your business or product towards the people who are actually going to consume it. Some other fundamental questions might be:
- What value do we think they are looking for?
- How do we verify this is the case?
- What outcomes does the customer want?
- Who might be our most important customers be?
Your Value Proposition – Time To Really Focus
Fundamentally you can’t, and don’t want to deliver something for everyone – focus is key.
What do you deliver to your customer?
And before you go off on price or service lets think about this seriously. Anyone can say that. Come back and look at the value we are trying to create.
What customer needs are we really satisfying?
And the chance to really FOCUS – Which one of our customer’s problems are we helping solve? Now maybe its more than one but we need a concise message so keep it simple. Be careful you can spend so much time distancing from what already is that you become too new or edgy, but you also still need to have unique value to get your customer to change their habits.
Are You Your Value Proposition?
You just might be, and this is more common than you think.
When it comes to creating value often our unique proposition lies inside of us, our culture and then our product.
For example Uber and Lyft – similar product very different cultures, and both were extremely different from the average traditional taxi industry. I personally support Lyft (USA) over Uber because of their culture, the way they treat drivers and because their drivers often were ex Uber and told me stories about them. Uber also gives off the first to market vibe which they were not.
Some value proposition words may be performance, customizing, status, cost or risk reduction, convenience, price or service.
What kind of relationship does each of our customers expect us to establish and maintain with them?
This is where we take the customer, the value proposition and meld them into this thing called CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.
Now remember we have already created customer segments – in marketing we call it targeting – and the target must self identify in some way, be big enough to grow a business and want what we’ve got.
So what about our customer relationships?
- Which ones are already established?
- Does this integrate into our business model?
- Do we need to revise our model at all?
And finally do we know how much it cost to acquire an average customer?
Customer Communication Channels
Simply put, how do our customers want to be reached? Not how do you want to reach your customers. We too often approach this from a way we prefer to communicate rather than the way they want it. Again customer first.
So some great fundamental questions include:
- Are we reaching them now? How?
- Do we have to integrate the channels?
- Which ones work best / most cost efficient?
- Do our channels suit our customer routines?
- Do we understand the phases our channels present?
Once we have answered a few of the above questions we might have a picture of those areas we need to improve, or even stop doing.
What Can You Do Now?
You are probably looking at this thinking – wow I’ve got some work to do – well truth is we all do, and consistently.
We need to build customer focus into all of our R&D and product development activities. Think about the people that are actually going to use what we have and make it truly great.
Let me encourage you to go away and answer the questions above. If you are finding yourself getting stuck, reach out or leave a comment so I can help you through.
Enjoy The Journey
Jonathan (Jono) Brake – Executive Business Coach
Ps. You can also watch a live video I did earlier to a start up community on the same topic.
Source: Business Model Canvas – Used under Creative Commons License – initially proposed in 2005 by Alexander Osterwalder.