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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Empathy & being User Centric

Hi all

Below is a diagram featuring two kinds of business systems. Have a look and before reading any further determine which kind of system you prefer.

Ok... the first system starts from the User- his/her needs, desires, emotions, wants being converted into products/services& business created around it. In the second, the business assess its capability, produces something & then finds a way to fit into users life.

In the first system, the focus is always the User & the objective of business is to find his/her latent need which can be fulfilled. The approach of this kind of system is being EMPATHETIC. Each & every employee in this system is empathetic towards the needs & wants of user.

The second system starts with the focus on Business capabilities giving rise to products & then it start looking for a consumer. The approach followed here is to hard sell to POTENTIAL user.

The first one based on Empathetic approach leads to discovery of Insights which provide new Ideas leading to Products which users actually want & Love.

The second one demands higher marketing costs which inturn increases product/service costs being offered without the guarantee that user will buy it.

DUDE enough of Management Fundas....come to the point ...

Ok….Be EMPATHETIC & User Centric… because it provides ideas for Innovation leading to success & what user wants.

An Eg:

Below is a photo of a restaurant near my place which is operated by Multinational Company. Most of the Sundays are like this with people waiting outside. I myself waited once for One & half hours to get in. Many people do not wait & after some time leave & the staff seems to not care because the place is already full.

By being Empathetic towards these potential customers (they want to have food from this place & enjoy the evening)...the restaurant can sure think of ideas wherein these customers can also be served.

Consider this from a business point of view, each time a person leaves after waiting for sometime, there is loss of a Potential sale.

So what Ideas can we think of……..

-How about making the whole situation in a fun way.....Give free drinks to people waiting for more than 15 minutes. (Show that their time is also Important & we care)

-How about Introducing a Sunday only Meet the stranger concept wherein strangers share a table so that no seat remains empty, making a way to optimize space problem at the same time connect with total strangers. Add some Ice breaker concepts.

- Delete all the non value added activities from the system.....take orders from those while they are waiting to remove ordering time while the person is in. Fasten the bill & taking money process.

- Acknowledge each waiting customer & thank them that they have come to their place & are waiting. A simple & sincere thanks can go a long way ensuring loyalty from customers.

- Give discounts on takeaway on Sunday so that people order for take away’s & don’t have to come at the store itself.

That’s It……..come on…u can think of some more ideas.

I believe this is just a start… giving serious consideration to the needs of these people, I m sure we can think of Ideas which can serve the user’s purpose to have food & also serve Business purpose of not loosing any customer coming to the place.

Barry Schwartz gave a TED talk on Practical Wisdom highlighting how Hospital Janitors went out of their way , showed empathy towards patients & relatives to satisfy their unarticulated need. I think it all start & end by being Consumer Centric which I believe is the root of Innovation……have a look at the Inspiring Video.



Video Source: