The greatest risk is inaction. It’s true. When it comes to innovative new products and services, customers may not know what they want, but they know what will give them a great experience. When I think of an analogy of customer wants vs customer experience, I think of horse and buggy and Model T Ford.
In Henry Ford’s time, the job of travelling between one place to another was predominantly by horse and buggy, being considered better than walking or riding horseback. Ask a customer of travel in the early 1900’s what they ‘wanted’, the response would not have been ‘a Model T Ford’.
If asked what would give them a ‘great experience’ of travelling, they would likely have rattled off a list of things such as ‘speed’, and ‘comfort’. Perhaps also ‘low cost’ and ‘low emissions’. To buy and keep a horse wasn’t cheap. Horses required shelter, food, saddlery and blacksmith and veterinary services. They also had a smelly emissions problem – horse poop.
I’m sure all the things listed for a great customer experience were addressed year-on-year as improvements were made to the buggy suspensions, wheels and seats. Even business models that addressed ‘the horse’ part of the travel equation might have sprung up – buy or hire, or off-site facilities to service and maintain buggy horses, all at various service and price levels of course.
The point is that there is a lot of things that contribute to having a great experience of any job that needs doing, whether it is moving from one location to another, or any other daily activity humans are involved in. There is no job that hasn’t existed. However, it is technology and science that is enabling us to achieve a great experience that solves those everyday jobs in a different way.
Travel is one of the jobs we as humans are constantly trying to solve – more speed, comfort, low cost and emissions. As customers, we may not know the technology or science, however someone who has the knowledge or can find it will develop the customer experience solution.
I have found exploring the ‘customer experience’ to be one of the most powerful avenues to discover new products and services, whether incremental improvements, such as the improvements made to the horse and buggy before the Model T Ford or how to be the disruptor in your own market.
Data Science is the Tesla of innovation evolution.
Knowing the customer experience is vital to innovation. It provides focus. Up until now, traditional methods of unlocking the customer experience have been time-consuming and prone to inaccuracy. Just like horse and buggy vs Model T Ford for understanding markets and customers, we now have data science. Data science is the Tesla of innovation evolution. It is the technology and science that allows us to unlock the customer experience with heightened accuracy, at a fraction of cost and time of traditional methods.
Advivo Innovation & Commercialisation Partners use Opportunity Mine™ in our Data Science Tools Suite. Opportunity Mine™ is a methodology that combines human expertise, data science and quantitative research. With this technology, the customer experience – technically known as the ‘basis of competition’ – can be unlocked statistically, to discover transformative opportunities at a fraction of cost and time, with more accuracy.