from LA Times 5/12 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz 9/13
Instead of marketing research or management presentations about product ideas, Intuit conducts 10,000 hours of what Smith calls “Follow me Home’s” each year, in which employees observe customers at home or at work. The goal is to understand their pain points, their needs, things customers may not recognize themselves.
From there, Intuit creates ideas, rapidly prototypes them and puts them into the hands of users to get Feedback. Smith & Hanson credit this approach with helping Intuit catch up quickly in the mobile & cloud computing spaces. For instance, the number of people using Intuit’s online Hosted Services has increased from 17 million in 2008 to 45 million in 2012.
“Design for Delight” is grounded in deep Customer Empathy, going broad with ideas, rather then only narrowing them as possible solutions and finally, rapid experimentation with customers,”. “Collaboration, customer-driven Innovation & Design for Delight allow us to continually re-invent ourselves to deliver for the future and provide our customers any time, anywhere access.”
How to Measure. Delight can be hard to measure. But Intuit tracks something called “Net Promoter Scores” or NPS. Basically, the company asks someone how likely they are to recommend a product or service to a friend. Intuit says it is always seeking to increase that NPS across its products.
The Empathy factor: Another big shift the company has undertaken as a result is to screen prospective employees for empathy. Can they truly understand how another person is feeling? This has become particularly important for people hired into customer service areas, where the company says it’s important not only to solve issues, but leave the customers feeling “good” about the experience.
The Results, so far, have been impressive. From $21.58 in early November 2008, Intuit’s stock has climbed to $59.89 in midday trading on Friday. Annual revenue has increased from $2.978 billion in 2008 to $4.151 billion in 2012. No wonder that so many others are looking to understand and imitate Intuit’s approach. (Should you too ??? Wiz4biz)
Comments: Are there any other ways to Delight your Customers?