Twenty years. E.G. Insight recently celebrated its 20th year in the business of helping clients collect feedback from their most valuable customers. Throughout these 20 years there are some trends that continue to surface no matter what the client or industry. One of them involves the growing need for innovation.
Customers are thirsty for new and innovative ideas that will help them compete more effectively, serve their customers better, improve quality, reduce costs, improve speed to market, support the environment, and improve safety.
Innovation is always in the eye of the customer. Regardless of industry, it is safe to say our clients often believe they are very innovative and sometimes have the awards to prove it. At the same time, their customers sometimes say our clients either lack innovative ideas and creativity or lack the ability to communicate their innovations effectively.
Who is right? Our clients think they are innovative – their customers often disagree and want more. We think the answer often lies in the manner in which our clients communicate innovative ideas to their customers.
The answer. Unfortunately, the answer is there is no one correct answer. Every customer contact is different; some people learn by doing, others by seeing, still others by hearing. Ways of sharing information that work for some will not work for others. Different styles require different methods, so variety is key. Find and use multiple ways to communicate your innovative ideas. Technology road shows, customer visits to your sites to meet R&D people, targeted visits to customer locations, websites and webcasts, and customer forums are all effective methods our clients use to communicate innovation and create competitive advantage.