Technology driven companies value technology first and then the customer life cycle. Start-ups need to realize that immediately.
Technologists and entrepreneurs often forget the customer dynamics while producing products and services. Over the last 10 years we have been providing business consulting services to a variety of different start-ups. And the main issue and gap remains the same.
We need to always remember that customers are always first. Technology and processes follow the leader which is the customer. The requirements of the customer need to be orchestrated by technology. It can never be the other way around.
Technology should not be driving the customer. Let’s take the example of Apple even. The technology revolves around the end user. We take into account the features and functionalities of their products. Apple products improve the lives of people. And that is the beauty of all technology.
Recently, we were working on a project with a start-up company. They created the product and then gave it to the customer for tryouts, simply wrong idea. When the customer got a hold of the application, there were many more features and requirements that were later embedded into phase 2.
Too much time and cost wasted in making a product that was perceived as good quality for the end user. If the end user was actually part of the stakeholder process since inception, this would have been a totally different ball game.
Imagine a customer providing inputs at the very beginning. Their requirements and features would be catered for immediately. In fact, many other features and inputs would be a part of the first development life cycle. There’s a huge savings in terms of cost and effort.
The most important thing that technology companies need to realize is when they consider the customer first, that is going to be the driving factor. When technology is very consistent among companies, customer centricity becomes the differentiator. It is how you service the customers.
Let us look at example of Uber and Careem. Both are very similar product lines. And they are targeting the same customer. It’s really the way that they make the customer feel and how the customer uses a technology that makes all of the difference. New companies are starting up need to realize this reality.
We highly recommend start-up companies to work on the customer centric model at the beginning. This even means educating their technical staff on customer service principles.
Customer centricity is not only about those people managing the customers. In fact, everyone is a part of the customer life cycle approach. When technologies and start-up companies start realizing the value of the customer at the beginning; they will become much more successful in the years to come.
Zyma Arsalan is a digital media consultant with over 10 years of experience in Pakistan and Canada. Her core expertise is human resource management, digital marketing and training and development. She works with companies as a business consultant to drive revenue and increase customer satisfaction. She leads the marketing of a professional business consultancy firm in Pakistan.