Trapping Early Adapters by removing fear to deal changing market trend !
How do you get your consumers or clients started?
The changing market demands is putting pressure to our clients to offer modified, or changed products or services to meet their changed expectations at end customer interface. As custom services and products provider, customer showed up at our desks by reason. Initially the lack of mutual trust and “our ability” to offer the value our customer is looking for stays in limbo. At the start, there is several doubt between customer and our self about capability and confidence to deliver the result. It is very interesting that most of our customer know what result they want but they have very little clarity on, how could deliver and even end product or services look like. Now a days, it is very common to happen that “what our customer is telling you what they want” is completely different from ” what they exactly needed and expecting at the end in order to willing to pay for it”. Above 90% of time, the scenario happen like this:
Customer A Says : I need a Car. Do you have one!
Customer A Need: Exactly A needed TRANSPORTATION not a car.
When we received expressed interest, we just take it in a way that, our customer told us they need a car. Now we work on what exactly they needed. Once we figure out they are in need of TRANSPORTATION, we design a ‘first dummy prototype’ based on our existing body of knowledge and show them if this is what they are expecting. This prototype becomes a very exceptional devices to identify our customer need and we works towards the developing prototypes and generate comments from them. In every prototype development, we tests our ideas with our hypothesis to develop new ideas to be tested further until we could developed one that could satisfy our clients need with their complete approval.
How is the beginning of your relationship?
In the beginning, above 90% of the potential clients appeared with full of doubt, underestimation, no-confidences and just in let test this too mentality. Once we start to response them, almost 15% of them just drop to communicate, as they have no previous experience on how custom designed services / product delivery works and how quality functions deployment through continuous improvements is being practiced.However, most of them continue to work with us while judging us on the fly.
How is the beginning of your relationship different than the mid-game or endgame? Can you describe the on boarding process?
With majority of our potential customer, the both way evaluation goes side by side while we are working to understand each other and finding a share interest where win win exists. From customer side, we experienced their unexpressed doubts on if we could really help them to make them successful in the mission they are in. They review every things they come across our details and interlink them to develop a overall impression about our business. Several time I have my customer telling me “I know nothing is free. What you are saying the business module you have do not make sense to him. He has no idea why, but he know something with us is not going right. So he is no more continuing with us.Their gut feelings says to continue the interactions will just loser game. That particular scenario is no more frustrating moments for us.In terms of percentage, those events happens below two decimal percentage, however.
It is also true that, when we have not introduced a system to evaluate a potential customer through credibility status check, we used to receive around 11% of mock customer. Mock customer means the incumbent is behaving like a clients however either looking an opportunity to run similar business, or title them self as consultant with zero consultation experience, certified black belt with zero true black belt experience, person from academic institution looking an opportunity to make money from private sectors with zero entrepreneurship culture, and folks from competitors etc. They behave like a customer but they have other their own reasons why they are doing so.Once we develop a tool to identify the mockers, our success rate is increasing.
Whatsoever, for around 60% of our potential customers, what we are doing is making sense and we are getting their active participation from getting feedback to evaluating the prototypes and testing if it really deliver the result they are looking for. Once, we can satisfy them, they turn into not only loyal customer but recommends their family and friends to utilize our services. Around 10% of new customer are we are getting through such references. Most of the clients arrived through references are of highly accommodating character and are really flexible in term of their availability to sit with us and work further towards innovation.
Do consumers need to arrive at crisis (“rock bottom?”) or are there inflection points earlier which they can use to switch over to more proactive behavior?
Most credible customer rarely showed up due to crisis. Exception is during a crisis created by regulatory changes or new emerged facts that our customer get panicked by unforeseen circumstances that impacts their business or status. For example, using some product is prohibited and a quick product change is required. Some new value added disruptive products or services identified and the competitive brand is required to hold existing market share etc. Mostly, above 98% of cases, however, the switch over happened due to fear of existing service or product suppliers inability to keep their in confident that in future changing market trend, they would be great asset to them to deal with them and making their future secure. In my experience, less than 2% switch over is price based including crisis caused. The key “infection point” is ability to maintain customer’s confident to cope any seen and unforeseen changing need by our team.
What role does social context or interaction play in the process?
The scope of social context and interactions is too wide in this aspects. I doubt, it really worth if we are not from government (I mean can rely on tax payer directly or indirectly for our revenue) and need absorbs every cents from our cost of doing business. Even though, it requires case by case basis of evaluation and weighing, it is very unlikely we could get justifiable number of expected audience with whom our business do materialized.
In innovative business, several exceptional ideas appears funny to public. Especially, when we need to deal with traditional universal facts that in facts are not facts scenario. For example: ‘Sun rise from east and set to west’ is a universal facts. Truth is Sun neither rise nor set. It stay Idle, but earth moves from west to east giving us an impression sun rise and set.
It is evident that most innovation is born from the activities that have challenge so called traditional universal facts. When we review the social interactions forum, it is very difficult to have audience that have exposure and understanding on innovative issue you are trying to discussed with. The big pitfall is, it is very difficult to link a thought process with underlined reason to state so. When public start comments based on false universal facts that you are trying to challenge, rater than constructive, the debates enter into conflict zone. And the ideas supported by universal truth succeeds to deceive public quickly. Because, in social media, people do not like to hear what you want to say, but they like your statements that supports their believe.In social media, it is found that, mostly emotional people shows their participation up to extreme ends.
The facts behind any innovation is, it is not our product or service we are changing people or our customer behavior, but we are changing our services or product as per customer need or wants.This facts also change the definition of proactive behavior in current context. That is why, in innovation world, result of survey through social media or news paper has same limitation that we got from outcome of result when tested drug onto donkey or monkey. Exactly the emotional interference is there to make them unqualified.
Social context, however might be helpful for brain storming. It might helps us to make some client to arrive to us. In some occasions, it may proven exceptional tool too. However, in such incidences also, we have to proof our ability by serving the puddings, otherwise it would be counterproductive.
In summary, from innovation point of view, we are not looking customers but digging to find right customers. Possible, the Early Adapters, sure not the late majority and laggards.