Especially for SME – 11: More about Uniqueness as a resource.

27 October 2021

SME


Mr. Lowe: Can we imagine that, now that we are unique, what if our product or service is made nearly as unique as ourselves to our customers? Can we spend time in making our product or service a little different to our customers than what similar others are offering?

SME2: Can you elaborate?

Mr. Lowe: See American innovations on normal items. They are not necessarily rocket science ones but the small but relevant improvements that make the product or service a little more comfortable for use by the customers. You can take utensils, cookers, even taps or also packaging of a food item or any other common items. They keep working at innovations continuously introducing changes over time, instead of turning out the same products or service, year after year with no change whatsoever – like in India we do. Now only there is some sign of Indians stepping out of their deep slumber and coming out with innovations. Indians do have an enormous innovation capability built into them. The point is, innovations need not be great but they have to be relevant for the users of our products and services and they have to keep coming out at regular intervals. Take any leader in any product or service – apple or google- there is a constant, never ending improvement in their product and services.

SME 1: Can we introduce any change we think is good?

Mr. Lowe: No, I would never recommend that: you may get an innovative idea but test it out amongst your current customers. If they find it useful, make it as a feature in your product or service. Make your trusted customers part of your innovation. The product or service is meant for customer use and their judgment or opinion is what should prevail, not yours however much you may like an idea. Don’t forget you may like an idea only because it is your idea!

SME1: You used the word “trusted” customer: what is the implication?

Mr. Lowe: Such of those customers who won’t reveal it to others- even your competitors- before time!

SME 2: I am wondering how long it has been I ever suggested any change to a customer on what I am doing to him!

SME 3 and 1: Neither we have suggested any change: We have always thought we have to give him what he wants or specifies and our work ends there, apart from having periodic lunches and dinners, of course.

Mr. Lowe: For doing this the triggering point is the difficulty that the actual user faces on his job using your product or service. Pl. note that the actual user would normally be different from the owner of your customer organization or the CEO, Director or the GM. He may be a worker on the factory floor.

SME 1: So how would you get the actual user’s difficulty?

Mr. Lowe: Can’t you not meet the actual user on your customer visits? Based on what you have done with the previous difficulty he gave you and the action you have taken on that, he may come forward with another problem he faces. If he does not, look for and seek another problem and he will be too willing to tell you until he tells you no more problems. ………….contd.

SME

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