We know that companies are created when they meet the needs of their customers. But, what we fail to understand is the nature and complexity of Need. Need is a singular thing that is driven by a vast array of attributes. The most common attributes are Price, Functionality, Customer Service, and Relationship. But there is a new attribute of need which I call the Speed of Need.
Price is a fundamental attribute of need. Customers must be able to afford a product or service if it is ever going to fulfill the need. Functionality is another fundamental of need. Even if a product is priced right, feature and functionality deficiencies or abundance can cause needs to go unmet. Customer Service is perhaps one of the most critical factors of success in fulfilling a need. Great products that run short on customer service don’t have staying power. Relationship is often a component of need. Frequently companies succeed or fail based on relationships – but this is not always important in fulfilling needs. I do not have much of a relationship with many of the products and brands I rely upon – but in some cases it is important.
The Speed of Need is something that many companies tend to overlook when they consider their customer needs. However, in the technology that serves industry today – the speed of need is critical. The reality is that the technology needs in all industries move at a pace or speed. Customers have a need for their product and service providers to keep pace with that speed of need. This entails the ongoing development of their products to deliver new and improved functionality. You can hear the speed of need complaints from customers quite easily.
It sounds something like this – “I love the price, your product works great, your service has always been terrific, and I value the long term relationship we have. However you have been promising me these fixes and features for (Insert Timeline) and I am getting tired of waiting!”
Failure by companies to address the speed of need can eat away at their success as quickly as bad pricing, bad service, weak functionality, or bad relationships. It can erode a company’s reputation to new customers and cause loyal customers to rethink their partner choices.
A great way to measure your company’s ability to meet the need for speed is with customer satisfaction surveys. Surveys should be a component of every company’s development roadmap. They help measure the speed of need and enable company’s to prioritize their development to keep it customer centric. If you think that your company may have a problem with the Speed of Need, contact Victor Lund at the WAV Group to talk about how we can help. It is fixable, and we have a history of success working with many of the leading companies across our industry.