Recently, we have been going through an overhaul of our products and services and rethinking how we provide the products and services that we provide to our clients. Interstingly, as I watched the conversations taking place, the conversations always seemed to start with what we are doing, what we can do, and what we can do different. Part of the way through the conversation, we turned the conversations on its head. Instead of talking about us, we started talking about our clients. We asked several people to act as clients and think like clients and respond to clients. From there, the conversation turned into a series discussions about feedback we had heard from customers and clients and had “logged” but not yet “made changes in response to”. In thinking like clients, our people looked deeper and differently at competitor products, services, and positioning – with a slant towards how a client would read that information. The results were great!
I would challenge and suggest every CEO and leader to perform such an exercise. Force your team into acting like a client and thinking like a client. Pressure them into providing decisive and clear feedback and interpretations of your products and services in the way that a client would see it. Do not accept the soft answer, push and pressure the employees to thinking beyond their current thought process and really enter into the client mindset. As you do this, look for the small, incremental wins that will provide the fundamental change and value that will benefit your customers.