In the quest for product/service innovation, it’s easy to overlook an obvious source: your own customers. How to effectively involve and engage them – and make them feel valued in the process – can be found in Chip Bell‘s just-released book, Inside Your Customer’s Imagination: 5 Secrets for Creating Breakthrough Products, Services, and Solutions. Renowned customer service consultant, speaker, and author, Chip knows that customers can provide an “untapped resource for ideas and inspiration that can result in breakthroughs.” In this new book, he shares the secrets of “Curiosity, Grounding, Discovery, Trust, and Passion” that facilitate effective co-creation partnerships.
“Partnerships at their best are not about contracts, controls, and compromises; they are about respectful connections that enliven, ennoble, and enchant.” Chip R. Bell
Chip lays out the foundation of successful partnerships and illustrates them with applied examples from a variety of organizations. Equally important, he shares customer experiences from the customer’s perspective. (My favorites involve frustration with a computer part replacement and inconvenience at a fast food drive-thru window.) Examples also include employees and suppliers as important partners in the co-creation process.
“Breakthroughs come from an instinctive judgment of what customers might want if they knew to think about it.” Andrew Grove
Granted, customers may not always know what they want. It’s a poor excuse, however, to overlook them as partners in co-creation. Inside Your Customer’s Imagination gives you the insight and guidance needed to effectively engage both customers and employees in improving your products and services. Offering customers the opportunity to contribute their ideas and suggestions sends the message “we value you and want to know how we can better serve you.”
Truly, a win-win situation. That’s why I recommend this gem of a book along with Chip’s other best-sellers I proudly include in my business library:
- Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles
- Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service
- The 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service
- Wired and Dangerous (with John Patterson)
- Take Their Breath Away (with John Patterson).