Don’t just do your part for the customer and walk away, said Rita Gunther McGrath, author of The End of Competitive Advantage. Instead, consider the customer’s complete experience. “I see so many companies do their piece and leave the rest of it untouched,” McGrath said in the MDM interview, Redefining Competitive Advantage. “And the result is often a very unhappy customer.”
Make sure that the solutions you are providing are actually good enough, she said. “It may be causing them cost and complexity where they may not even realize it.”
McGrath provided an example of a flavorings company who visited a client – a food manufacturer. When they watched the flavoring get dumped into the vat of product, somebody asked about the average batch size of flavoring used in the product. The answer was 30 pounds, but the flavorings company shipped it in 50-pound drums. Because of this, the client had to add an extra step each time they used the company’s product.
In this case, simple observation was enough to uncover a way to make the customer’s life a little easier.