tl,dr; one size does NOT fit all and assumptions hurt your bottom line.
If you watched the Apple event today you saw Phil announce a new set of wireless earbuds that connect wirelessly to your iPhone. The wireless technology and use cases are mind blowing. This is innovation.
Shortly after the announcement he did two things:
- He claimed they are “comfortable”
- He showed four other options of headphones from their subsidiary “Beats”
Anyone who has tried the newer shape of earbuds and experienced discomfort winced when he said “comfortable”. There is no way these will fit me.
On to the Beats headphones – four options “for every type of listening experience.” Great, and actually without those options I would be stuck using a lightning/audio dongle everywhere every time.
So what can we learn from this?
Listen to your users
When you make claims about what your users experience and it doesn’t accurately portray their emotions these claims are distancing and destroy or harm your relationship with customers. Actively listening and engaging regularly is not only important to your customers, but also to your profits.
Don’t force people to adapt unwillingly
Extend features to support the diversity of your customers and users. Making them do things “your way” creates discomfort, displeasure and may even stop people from adopting or changing in the ways you want or need them to.
To learn more about how employee and customer disengagement hurts your bottom line read our piece “Surviving the Chaos“