As I started my journey, I went to the only true source of relevant information – Google.
In 0.46 seconds I received 1.3 billion answers to the question “What do customers want?” This made me pause.
If this was a case study, and I was a customer of Google, did they just deliver what I wanted? They answered my question, surely, but were my specific needs met? Was I able to easily find the answer?
Overwhelmingly the research argues that customers desire fundamentally basic things, though the order might vary depending on the product or service the customer plans to consume.
At a most basic level, and in no specific order, customers want:
- Value for money
- Good service
- A quality product
Though each of these answers is obvious and relatively straight forward, they only describe the needs of a specific interaction.
In the IT services business there is an underlying requirement for a trust based relationships, especially if there is a transformational or annuity characteristic to the transaction. A foundation of trust must already exist for there to be an opportunity to satisfy the “wants” of the customer.
The more transformational, or the longer the commitment associated with the decision, the stronger the trust based relationship needs to be. As magnitude or complexity of the decision increases, so does the need for relationships to extend to multiple layers of the organizations.
At Long View, we have set ourselves on a 100 year journey. We have chosen to focus on customer relationships to lead our market segment as argued by Treacy and Weirsema in “Discipline of the Market Makers”. This necessitates that a strong trust based relationship, our integrity pillar, exist before we are able to apply customer specific wants like value for money or ease to each transaction.
So did Google meet my needs as a customer?
Yes. I wanted an answer to a question which I received quickly and easily. The experience and output was predictable and it didn’t cost me a cent.
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