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Future Tech Management

3 Reasons You Can’t Just Ask Customers What They Want

From TechCrunch:

The first reason you can’t just ask customers what they want is that they aren’t always attuned to what they really need. Steve Jobs famously said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

via 3 Reasons You Can’t Just Ask Customers What They Want | TechCrunch.

I first linked this article as an example of  “A car is not just a faster horse.” but found another gem as well.

Typically, it is easier for people to review and comment on something that is placed in front of them rather than asking to imagine something that doesn’t yet exist. 

But first the faster horse. One of the biggest mistakes dentists make with technology is that they fail to use it well because they simply do not know what is possible. People tend to stay where they are comfortable, and we find comfort in doing things over and over just as we did them before. The linked article has some very interesting comments on this phenomenon and the research behind it. If you just want technology to do what you have always done you will never get much value from it.

Dental tech vendors have the same problem. Asking dentists what they want has limited utility. Presenting them with something really different is likely to be rejected. The challenge is to provide just enough value to get them to try it and then click and drag them into the future.

The second comment quoted above is the best argument I have ever heard for cosmetic imaging. If you have the software to show people what their smile will look like after treatment they are much more likely to understand, become emotionally committed and to buy in than if you just ask them to imagine it.

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