I get a copy of Business Week from my father-in-law after he is done with it. The back page of each issue is by Jack and Suzy Welch where they answer a reader’s question. This week’s was what big business imperative doesn’t get enough attention. Their answer was stickiness.
- Quality doesn’t get talk about as much as it used to, but that’s because it is a given.
- What is surprising, however, is how exceptional and inventive customer service needs to be to stand out these days
- … but another approach to stickiness can pack an even bigger wallop. It requires moving … to a product-and-long-term-service-business by guaranteeing productivity gains to customers
- Almost all companies can create stickiness by sharing knowhow.
- … unbridled sharing of expertise creates a real affinity …
- … many businesses can create stickiness by building user communities. Every year … hosts conferences. These aren’t sales events per se, but you can be sure that attendees leave with a feeling of partnership …
- Organizers must come to see the world through customers’ eyes
The first point is a biggie. Now they were talking about manufacturing (I think) but it applies to software as well. Especially when there are viable competitors in the space. Quality should be a given.
The other points are also interesting from a larger, more strategic perspective. How can you share expertise and knowhow? Open up your bug tracker. Or have someone from the QA or test groups contribute to the corporate blog about how they work to protect the customer’s interests.
Which leads to the last point. Running out of ideas to test with? Stop looking at the application with all your insider knowledge. Look at it instead as a user would, without all the tricks and secret switches you have picked up along the way.
Here is a link to the full article to read it in the proper context.