Posts tagged ‘user experience’

The Role of Delight in Crossing the Chasm

People choose a new technology when they’re ready to. As Rogers noted, Early Adopters just like playing around with technology. They’re the ones with Apple Newtons and Microsoft Tablet PCs in their attic. Early Adopters don’t need complete solutions – they want to play with the latest toy.

The next wave of adopters, the Early Majority, use technology to solve problems. They like tech, but they have work to do and don’t have time to play around. Fortunately, the early adopters were there first: they helped iron out the kinks and create the solution for the second wave.

The challenge, as Geoffrey A. Moore wrote in Crossing the Chasm, is bridging the gap between the Early Adopters and Early Majority. How do you convince those hesitant people that your gadget is ready for prime time?

One of the things I’ve studied for years is the role of customers in driving long-term revenue growth – how crucial their advocacy and input are to success. This applies to the Chasm as well.

The way to bridge the chasm is through the advocacy of early adopters. If you develop your solution with them, make them your advocates, you’ve got a hit on your hands.

Which raises the big question: how do you make those early adopters passionate about your product? Not by easing their pain, not just by providing a relevant product. You do it by delighting them. That delight ignites the passion.

Example? Check this out.


May 3, 2011 at 9:13 AM Leave a comment

Products vs. Ecosystems

Some worthwhile words from FutureLab on designing products vs ecosystems here.

It’s true – you’re not designing a product, you’re designing an experience, and the more thorough job you do, the more loyal your customers will be.

April 6, 2011 at 9:53 AM Leave a comment

When Innovation Sucks

Let’s talk about airport body scanners.

This is amazing technology – a non-invasive (physically) way to tell if an air passenger is packing a weapon. So why, then, do the devices have so many detractors, and so few defenders?

All innovation includes a cost. It might be a monetary cost, and it might be the cost of learning new habits, systems, ways of thinking. If the value outweighs the cost, we adopt the innovation. For my company, moving from Outlook to Google Apps was worth re-thinking how to sort and file email.

But for body scanners, the passengers have spoken: the cost is greater than the perceived value.

True innovations have a positive “net value” for consumers, and this one doesn’t. It’s being forced on us. If we saw the value, we’d embrace it. But it appears that, for a great many people, the cost of regular invasions of privacy – both the scanner and the alternative patdown – are higher than the perceived chances of encountering an inflight bomb.

I’ve written before about the difference between invention and innovation. An invention is a new product. An innovation is something that creates new value for people. Have we seen this before? Sure. The interactive voice menus you get when you call just about any company. Who benefits from them? Only the company that fired the receptionist. Few customers would herald these systems as creating new value for them.

Voice menus didn’t cause a revolt, however – the stakes were too low. But foist a high-cost “innovation” on masses of people, without enough perceived value, and get ready to encounter naked aggression.

November 23, 2010 at 9:07 AM Leave a comment

Update Your “Contact Us” Page

Here’s a piece I did for Businessweek on how we’re still using those hoary old “contact us” pages.

September 24, 2010 at 1:16 PM Leave a comment

Why Most Brands Suck

A friend recently told me about a meeting at which a senior marketing manager said, “We need to change our name – we need a new brand.”

It’s pretty shocking to hear nonsense like that from a senior marketing manager. Someone actually thought that changing a name is equal to creating a new brand?

A brand, of course, is a lot more than a name. But what is it? People seem pretty confused on that point. One hears words like “reputation”, “personality”, or the “impression” that a company’s products or services make. Considering the studies showing that strong brands boost stock price and market cap, you’d think that marketers would have pinned this down a bit better.

A brand is more than a name or an impression: a brand is a combination of the company name and associated symbols, the visceral impression people have of the company, and the experience that’s created whenever someone has any kind of contact with your company, be it products, services, or support. Most marketers, like the one at the meeting I mentioned, don’t get beyond the first two. When we evaluate our brands, we should be asking, “what is the experience we’re creating?”

And that’s why most brands suck. Most companies don’t have a clue about the experience they’re creating. If they did, they’d realize that those experiences aren’t very good, for the most part.

To understand how good or bad your brand is, you have to define what the experience is, not just for customers, but for vendors and investors too – anyone that’s touched by your company.

Brand is bigger than just the products. At my old bank, no one took charge of my experience – personnel came and went, and I never knew who was responsible for my account. No one was tasked with seeing that I walked away satisfied. But that didn’t stop them from sending me a survey so I could evaluate their “brand.” My experience: being lost, ignored, and then taken for granted.

Buy a PC in a big-box store. Then buy a computer in an Apple store, where someone will help you set up your computer, transfer your files, and see that you’re taken care of. The latter experience: being cared for and considered important.

Another example: I spoke with someone who called up two manufacturers to price some equipment. One company sent a price list. The other one sat down with him and asked about his needs and what support they could give. After the sale, they checked in to see how things were going. The experience: I am more than just a sale.

So, want to build your brand? You’ve got 3 questions to address:

1. What’s my brand experience?
2. How do I measure what’s defining that brand experience?
3. How am I going to improve that experience (what am I doing in the next 12 months to improve the brand experience)?

Anything less than those three, and you’re not on firm ground.

September 13, 2010 at 1:54 PM Leave a comment

How to Drive Customers Away AT&T Style

A couple of days ago I offered a general primer on driving customers away. Now here’s a specific example.

A colleague of mine who uses AT&T recently called customer service. That went fine – they fixed his problem in a professional manner. But then he got an automated callback from the company asking him to complete a survey. The voice said:

“If you are the person who recently interacted with the automated telephone system on the phone, and you can participate now, Press1. If you do wish to participate, we thank you for your business and look forward to serving you the next time. You can simply hang up.”

[He presses 1]

“… Press 1. If you do wish to participate. We thank you for your business and look forward to serving you the next time. You can simply hang up.”

[He presses 1 again]

“… Press 1. If you do wish to participate. We thank you for your business and look forward to serving you the next time. You can simply hang up.”

[He presses 1 again]

“… Press 1. If you do wish to participate. We thank you for your business and look forward to serving you the next time. You can simply hang up.”

[He simply hangs up]

August 27, 2010 at 9:48 AM Leave a comment

Building Loyalty

A very good post today on Customers Rock! about customer loyalty. The nub of it:

You must measure the customer experience continuously.

I couldn’t agree more.

August 10, 2010 at 10:53 AM 1 comment

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Thompson Morrison

Thompson Morrison

About Thompson

As CEO of FUSE Insight, Thompson Morrison uses powerful new web interviewing technologies to help businesses better align their brand with the needs and aspirations of their customers. Learn more at


"The single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have is not a good strategic plan, but a commitment to strategic listening on the part of every member of the organization." -- Tom Peters