We’re told to pray to the god of omni-channel retail and all will be well. Yet after diving into a world of complexity and huge cash outlays, sales and profits remain lackluster.
We’re advised to study best practices and creatively “steal” the ones that resonate the most. Yet, despite reading all the books and hiring the leading consultants, our customer experience remains far from Apple’s and our culture feels like the anti-Zappos. And nobody’s working a 4 hour work week, I can tell you that!
We’ve built a sexy app. We’ve started an Innovation Lab. We go to all the best conferences. We even know to call it “South By” like the cool kids. We’re on every imaginable social media channel. We chant “seamless customer experience” at our staff meetings, for crying out loud! Why aren’t things going better?
Sadly, even if you do a great job importing what’s working for others, chances are you’re merely keeping pace. Necessary, not sufficient.
Assuming that what works for one brand and their unique customer set is readily transferable to your situation is not almost always wrong, it can be incredibly dangerous.
As the power shifts irretrievably to consumers, as their options for information, access and choice compound exponentially, as it gets harder and harder to command share of attention, your job is not to simply import what’s worked elsewhere and propagate “me-too” solutions.
No, your job is to deeply understand your unique situation, to embrace a treat different customers differently philosophy and to craft an intensely relevant and powerfully remarkable experience.
As tempting as it is to buy the sexiest car in the lot, equipped with the latest technology and anticipate the rush of exhilaration as you step on the gas, the fact is your mileage will vary–perhaps, a lot. The sooner we accept that the better.
And then it’s time to begin the hard, uncomfortable work.