Customers Included


How to give customers what they want - the importance of customer experience.

Mark Hurst, the founder of Creative Good, the world's longest-running customer experience consultancy tells us three stories in 10 minutes to show us the importance of customer experience.

1. Play pumps

Africa has an issue with clean drinking water. To solve this problem "Play Pumps" were announced in 2005. The company has seen a large news coverage and was funded with 16 millions US-Dollars in 2006. But what happened later? In Mali engineers without borders tested the Play Pumps. For a bucket full of water they needed more then 3 minutes to fill it up. With the normal and usual water pumps they need less than 30 seconds. The result is obvious, it's totally inefficient. The engineers asked the teachers around the pump what would they like to say to the company: "Please stop it immediately!"

What happened? No customer was included, that's the truth why it failed. And overall "Play Pumps" reduced the access to clean water.

2. Walmart

Walmarts are known as not well designed and cluttered. To increase sales and to keep customers in the shops, they asked the customers one question. *"Do you want to have a less cluttered Walmart?" Of course the answers were yes. They reduced 15% of the products but the sales decreases a lot - the customers couldn't find their brand anymore. Walmart did it right to ask their customers, but it was the wrong approach, and the wrong outcome was inescapable.

3. Steve Jobs

Until the late 1990's Apple didn't use focus groups or listen to customers. Steve Jobs were at the low point of his career and angry developers asked for some answers at a conference. He was very unsatisfied with himself and for the first time he talked about Apple's strategy. "You have to start with the customer experience and then go back from this to technology." - This changed Apple for the next 15 years and the customers got such products like iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Mentioned in this live blog

02.mark hurst square headshot
Mark Hurst
Creative Good
Founder & CEO
Creative Good
New York

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