A Customer Experience Lesson from Microsoft

A couple months ago I tried an open source word processor, AbiWord . It’s a decent product and does everything you’d expect. I tried it because I was tired of Microsoft Word taking so long to start and crashing so often.

But before long I found myself using Microsoft Word again. Even though its startup and crashing problems remain, it still has something no other word processing software has (that I have found).

It saves me time.

You see, I tend to be a clumsy typist. Always have been. I had hope it would improve with age. It has. I get clumsier every year. Typos, mixed up letters, caps in the wrong place, missing letters. You name it and I do it.

So I am constantly re-typing my mistakes. This takes time. And, what’s worse for me, it’s disrupting.

When I use WordPad, AbiWord or others, I have to retype a lot. But, when I use Microsoft Word, I don’t. It corrects for me. It doesn’t fix everything but it fixes most of my mistakes.

This is how technology is supposed to work. And it’s how a product makes itself indispensable.

I have no loyalty to Microsoft (though I’m a big fan of Bill Gates). I dumped Outlook two months ago and never looked back. Many of their products annoy me. I have gone out of my way to try to use other non-Word products.

But Word has won my heart. It makes my life easier. It helps me spend less time on the mechanics of writing (typing) and more time on the fun part (creating).

It has become indispensable in my world.

Do your customers say that about your product or service? Do you provide something so valuable they would fight to keep doing business with you? Is your product or service so useful to your customers that they can’t imagine doing without?

When you reach that point you have achieved greatness in your field. You have discovered what your customers want and you have delivered it to them.

If you are helping your customers in a way that is remarkable or outstanding then your marketing becomes much easier. You have a story to tell that people will listen to. They’ll listen because you can help them accomplish what they want. They are motivated to want to learn more.

Marketing is no more complicated than giving your customers what they want. Do this well and you’ll have them lined up.

Do you agree? Or can strong marketing overcome an average product or service? Let me know what you think. (Use the comment form below to share your thoughts.)

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz