In the past two decades, most companies have investigated customer satisfaction after transactions. Through the research, they have tried to understand customer experience in order to improve their products as well as services, and to keep a relationship with consumers. However, companies in different industries are encountering the same dilemma …
In the past two decades, most companies have investigated customer satisfaction after transactions. Through the research, they have tried to understand customer experience in order to improve their products as well as services, and to keep a relationship with consumers. However, companies in different industries are encountering the same dilemma – product life span becomes shorter and shorter. We can ascribe this phenomenon to technology development and global business competition, but it also discloses the deficiency of current business model. Most suggestions from customer satisfaction research cannot reflect on products and services immediately, and some of them might be rejected. This situation articulates that companies are in a closed innovation process.
Looking ahead, companies should possess an open mind to innovation. Innovation should not be limited to product and technology development, it can be extended to business modelling and customer services. Innovation not only occurs in the laboratory, companies could create an environment that encourages people from any department to contribute ideas to further develop an innovation culture. They can also apply external resources in collaborating with other companies. The collaboration of Nike and Apple could be an inspiring example; they have created Nike+, a product which users can enjoy music and sport at the same time, and the app will provide runners’ records, helping users monitor their status.
Moreover, companies are better to include customers in the conversation of innovation, because they have better information about their needs and user context than companies. Customer centricity is the core value of innovation management. Although most companies have collated and analysed consumers experiences’, in order to lower the cost most companies still provide standard products and narrow solutions that do not perceive customers’ heterogeneity. Therefore, the products and services are not exactly what users want. Some consumers may look for other proper products and services, and some tend to design or modify the products according to their needs. Companies can involve these users who innovate by themselves in the innovation team, gaining high benefits from a solution that customers created.
Whilst consumers face various choices, they could easily turn to other brands which satisfy their needs. As a result, companies lose the battle in the market. For long-term development, companies should keep communicating with customers and diverse communities to update what people think. Companies could build a business model, which includes a formal interaction with customers and other collaborators. It is necessary to emphasise that innovation is one of the elements to create a sustainable brand and business. Yet, the most important factor remains in the form of the support of customers.
Source of image: Communication Works Australia