The Customer is More Than Just a Customer

"In today’s environment, the customer is more than just a customer; more than just an “advocate”; she’s a channel, creating leads by recommending your product or service to her friends; she’s your partner, suggesting improvements to your distribution and supply chain; she’s your co-worker, trying out new products and giving you quick and accurate feedback."

[JP Ragaswami]

A person who can help you at many levels, not just a stakeholder, a target, or a demo. The Internet is enabling organizations to work with potentially hundreds or even thousands of people to discover ideas, make them happen, and market those products.

This doesn't automatically mean "for free", and it doesn't imply "marginal" to your business.

At a minimum, you can design your service and product to take into consideration the job people are trying to do. With a greater level of maturity, you are broadening your team beyond the company's walls.

Value comes through relationships

An example of this principle in the music business with Amanda Palmer. In her recent TED Talk she says:

“By asking people, you connect with them, and by connecting with them, they want to help you. ‘When we really see each other, we want to help each other.

People have been obsessed with the wrong question, which is, How do we make people pay for music? What if we started asking, How do we let people pay for music?’”

In other words, for innovation, flip the question, or ask a new one altogether.

The customer is more than just a customer.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.

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