Thursday, April 26, 2007

Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business

A five-step plan to building a customer driven company:

1. Identify and study lead customers. Harness the creativity and inventiveness of your smartest customers--the ones who are the most knowlegeable and passionate about your field.

2. Provide customers with tools to help them design the products and services they'd like to see. Be part of the customer's creative processes. Watch closely what they do.

3. Nurture customer communities. Make sure executives and employees hang out with customers in these communities, both on-line and face-to-face.

4. Empower customers to strut their stuff. Reward customers for contributing ideas and designs, providing tips and techniques, spotting new products and trends.

5. Open up your products and engage customers in peer production. Invite customers to roll up their sleeves and "mess" with your product, modifying and customizing it. Set up a good governance structure. Be authoritative.

Adapted from Outside Innovation: How Your Customers Will Co-Design Your Company's Future (Harper Collins., ISBN 9780061135903) by Patricia Seybold

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