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If we are to truly engage with our customers, if we are to create game-changing products which resonate with their needs then we have to learn to step out of day to day assumptions and really seek to understand the basic drivers which shape their daily lives.
Whether telling stories, weaving fantasy or simply seeking to educate, there is something compelling about the medium of film. In the latest crop of BAFTA nominations there is also a recognition that film can also act as an affirmation of a life, telling the untold stories which underpin the more public face of those who have shaped our world. Of course there is nothing new in this and in recent years the film industry has set out to challenge our perceptions of a host of well known figures, sometimes with films which have gone on to be viewed as classics and at other times less successfully. But with The Theory of Everything (Stephen Hawking) and The Imitation Game (Alan Turing) leading the way in this year’s nominations we have been once again privileged to be given the chance to appreciate the events which have shaped the lives of iconic figures.
It’s a lesson which we would do well to bring into our working lives. Whether we work on a long term basis with customers or simply interact on a fleeting basis online on in store we tend to build up a picture based solely on the immediate relationship. Sometimes generated from face to face meetings, at other times extrapolated from statistics, the picture which we build can often be one dimensional at best. But if we are to truly engage with our customers, if we are to create game-changing products which resonate with their needs then we have to learn to step out of day to day assumptions and really seek to understand the basic drivers which shape their daily lives.
60% of major UK directors admit their leadership teams fail to understand their customers. If we want to win customer nominations for outstanding service allied to a lasting relationship then we have to change that round by adopting innovative approaches which seek to discover why our customers make certain choices and then create products which more closely meet actual rather than perceived needs.