Back in the day, I did some work in the client/customer experience arena. What actually is ‘customer experience’? You might be asking yourself. In a nutshell, it’s the concept behind managing customer expectations vs. actual experience. This can be achieved through many ways, it could be processes and methodologies, it could be technology, it could be a more physical approach so your customer has an entry point to your products and services that they can physically see or touch. It about what products you sell and how you sell them, how you market and advertise, how you reach out in the first instance, and how you support after a sale.
Every business feels that they are unique, and their particular set of circumstances are completely different to every other. Often, they think they need customer products or solutions to suitably fit their particular circumstance and requirements, and because of that, often smaller business will shy away from moving into new or corresponding areas because they think the start-up investment required to “on board” these new areas will be too expensive. But that’s simply not true, in terms of technology for example, you are dealing with data, (be it customer or client data, product data, sales data etc.)
To a software platform its all zeros and ones, to the processes ad methodologies handling a customer support call for a faulty product or a presales enquiry is not really different to a GP or hospital diagnosing a patient or logging a new condition.
In technology or more specifically software there are many products that are built for specific marketplaces, so the terminology you see is tailored to those, but the underlying workflows are exactly the same as those for other marketplaces. A name change or a few more options in a list has the capability to use exactly the same systems you already have in place to sell completely new products and services.
Often as we grow our business, we’ll look for opportunities for expansion within our current arena or product set. But just look at Amazon, they started out selling books, but that exact same sales model allowed them to sell absolutely anything they choose. Strangely you cannot yet buy a car on Amazon, but you can buy a prefabricated house and yes it uses exactly the same technology and selling model that they use to sell a book just like when they first started out.
Use Amazon as your inspiration here. Yes, it’s comforting to work from the box we’re most familiar with, but there are so many more boxes available to us, and they are available with what we already have in place. It’s all well and good to extol your uniqueness, but at the same time don’t let it be the anchor that keeps you down as well.