Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Get Better Reality: Subscription Technology Enables Fresh Customer Conversations

Whether selling a product or a service, any business using (or thinking about using) subscription technologies can take a great lesson from the pages of the service marketing playbook. In his widely acclaimed Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing, branding expert Harry Beckwith says:

“The first principle of service marketing is Guy Kawasaki's first principle of computer marketing: Get better reality.”

Among several ways cited to accomplish this, a key aspect of better reality is letting customers or clients set your standards for the quality of your service. Whether creating a new product or service, or managing an existing one through the product life cycle, The Art of Project Management by author Scott Berkun explains the critical role of customer perspective in the successful completion of a project. Berkun identifies three perspectives, or voices, that must be balanced in order for a product or service to succeed: These three are:

- Technology – how the product or service works
- Business – how the product or service will be delivered
- Customer – what people want or need the product or service to do

The technology and business perspectives come from inside, however; to be effective the customer perspective must come from the customer. Using subscription technologies is a most innovative way to engage customers—internal or external—in conversations that aren’t “filtered” by product planners, engineers, marketeers or accountants.

Smart organizations realize the result of these conversations is truly a better reality.

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