This is an anecdote I heard. It happened in a different industry but it most certainly can be applied as a "what not to do" for any business that relies on customers for its success.
A meeting was being held with a dozen key players from a company that was redesigning its WEB site’s user interface. The consultant who was at the planning meeting suggested that they talk to some of the company’s key users and pick their brains in order to develop a solid interface.
The company’s senior business manager said that they didn’t need to talk to users because they already knew what was needed!
Since this meeting was being held to decide how to make the WEB site more user-friendly, the consultant felt it was important to stress user-centered design in their initiative in order to better guarantee a favorable outcome with the customers.
The senior manager looked the consultant straight in the eye and said….."There are other ways to do user-centered design THAN BOTHERING WITH ACTUAL CLIENTS".
Think about that for a minute.
Businesses know or should know that they won’t succeed if they don’t satisfy their customers. Giving the customers what they want should be the cardinal rule to follow. What matters is providing a good atmosphere, employing friendly and helpful staff, stocking the merchandise customers want – in other words, making a trip to your store an experience they will remember.
Much can be accomplished with a superior Point of Sale system that remembers your customers and their preferences, provides incentives such as loyalty programs to keep them coming back, and emails offering them exclusive pricing – as well as making sure you don’t run out of key merchandise they want.
I wish I could say that the attitude of that WEB site company came back to haunt them, but I don’t know. On the other hand, they were a large investment firm and we know what’s happened to them in the last few years!
Talk to you soon ~ Norma