You may think that you know what your customer wants. You may believe that if you build it, they will come. This is not always true. Carol shares some proven tactics for getting relevant feedback from customers in her recent post on entrepreneur.com, “Why Henry Ford’s Most Famous Quote Is Dead Wrong.”
“Henry Ford was one of the world’s great innovators and a quotable gentleman at that, particularly in the realms of business and innovation. Perhaps the most famous quote attributed to Ford is this: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
While there’s no real proof Ford ever said this, the words are still applied to him as proof that true innovation is done without customer input. But, even if one of the most successful businessmen in American history had said it, it wouldn’t make the maxim any more applicable.
In fact, customers would probably have told Ford exactly what they wanted — specifically, a faster mode of transportation. They might not have mentioned the need for a combustion engine, but that’s part of the art and science of understanding customer feedback.
While your customers may not know the form factors available to them (that’s where you as a business can innovate), they often understand their problems, or can, at minimum, communicate enough information so that you can use customer feedback appropriately to grow your business. Here’s how.”
You can read the rest of the post here.