I don’t know about you but I’m spoilt for choice.
It’s a great time to be a consumer of virtually anything – technology advances have been driving down barriers to entry in almost every industry, meaning that even the most historically stagnant have now become interestingly invigorated by new entrants and challengers.
But for many new entrants, it’s a tough time to launch and gain traction for a new product or offering. The same technology enablers that lower the barriers to entry can be quickly adopted by the current incumbents to match features offered by the challengers, whose value proposition often starts out as being “we can offer it cheaper than the dinosaurs incumbents”. While in many cases this results in a higher feature, lower cost offering to the consumer, it appears to accelerate the race to zero for the industry as a whole.
Change is hard, an unnecessary complication that we can do without when we literally have to do nothing and over time everything levels out at the same feature set and for a lower cost. I forget who originally said “everything can and will be copied” but I certainly see that reflected around me on a daily basis. With the exception of the early adopters, few consumers eagerly embrace change due to the sheer inertia required. Even removing that inertia doesn’t necessarily guarantee success – how many people in the UK have switched their bank accounts now that it’s easy to do so, only to find that their new bank is just as pitiful as their old one was? How then do you differentiate yourself to consumers who like me are spoilt for choice?
According to a 2014 Gartner survey “by 2016, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience”. I can’t argue with this statement as that is the result of their survey, but I do have an opinion as a consumer and my opinion is that a fantastic customer experience will become an expected feature and over time, even if I do nothing, things will improve anyway.
So if you can’t win me over me with product features or customer experiences, what would motivate me to change?
Believing you can make my life better.
Don’t tell me what you have to offer, tell me why. If you can give me something to believe in, I’ll make the effort to change, no matter how hard it is, and you will never have to sell me anything ever again.