Value is in the eye of the beholder. Smart people will say that the beholder is the customer. While in most companies there will be a similar saying to the “customer is king”, some have lost their way and have somehow forgotten the importance of customer and their feedback. The result is organizational anti-patterns that impede successfully getting to customer value. There are a number of anti-patterns on why this occurs and below are four:
- Believing that you can pretend to know with certainty what the customer wants upfront. The danger: the consequence of limiting options and being blind to customer feedback to shape product direction. Otherwise known as the Pretend Certainty anti-pattern.
- Focusing primarily on driving efficiencies through cost cutting and high resource utilization. The danger: the unintended consequence of a lesser focus on the customer with little room to innovate and adapt. Otherwise known as the No Room at the Innovation Inn anti-pattern.
- Sub-optimizing for the comfort of having a well-established plan and set of well-defined processes. The danger: the consequence of restricting change at the expense of adapting to customer needs. Otherwise known as the Sub-Optimizing for Comfort anti-pattern.
- Engaging few to represent the whole. The danger: the consequence of understanding customer pool, ignoring potential customers, and missing customer feedback to shape product direction. Otherwise known as the The Few and the Missing anti-pattern.
When you are a start up, you realize the importance of being customer value driven because if customers don’t buy the product, then your start-up goes under. Because of this and their small size, most start-ups will stay very close to the customer or potential customer. When companies become larger, there is a greater chance these anti-patterns appear. More process and more controls are often put into place and unfortunately this leads to restricting change. A company may sub-optimize for their own processes and plans that distances them from their customers.
The question is, do you see any of these anti-patterns within your organization that impact your ability to achieve customer value? Avoid the poor “aim of the anti-pattern’. Instead, engage with your customers and use their feedback to help you hit the customer value target!
For more information on the topic of Customer Value, consider reading the following articles:
- Dangers of Certainty in Realizing Customer Value
- How an Agile Customer Feedback Vision can lead to Customer Value