Have you ever wondered what "the customer is always right" really means? Business owners know it isn't a literal statement; on occasion, the customer is very wrong. The old phrase isn’t really about customer service– it's about supply and demand. What the customer demands is what you should supply, even if it isn't what you thought it would be.
Dealing with Unexpected Demand
It's often the case that one offering from a business will prove far and away more popular than any of its other offerings. This can be a troubling issue if the product or service in question was never intended to be the company's focus. In this situation, only an unwise company would be compelled to look a gift horse in the mouth. Instead, it's best for both the customer and the company to embrace and promote the unexpectedly popular product.
Challenges When Pivoting Between Products
No company wants to turn away from a successful product. It's more likely the company simply isn't setup for the increased demand, especially given the unanticipated increase in popularity. Companies may find themselves building momentum in one direction only to discover their newest offering would radically shift their paradigm. This leaves them with a complicated choice: they can either stay on their predetermined course or take immediate action.
Many businesses will tread water and achieve some modicum of success, but a company can only truly be great if they take advantage of their hits. Companies that instead cling to the products they initially believed would be successful will find themselves fighting their way upstream, presenting products to an increasingly apathetic audience. It isn't always possible to anticipate the best product– but it is always possible to react once that product has been identified.
Giving Your Audience What They Want
It's easy to assume your company knows what's best for your audience, especially after years of data and research. Even so, ignoring feedback is a certain way to alienate your customer base. In IT, a company's ego must be set aside for the needs (or even the perceived needs) of your customers. Though from your perspective one product may be more essential, another product may actually be better suited for the customer’s personal situation.
Many companies will run into a hit product at one point or another– it’s up to you to make sure your business doesn't miss its big break. Remember all the data in the world can't always predict which of your products will be successful, but careful planning can ensure your company takes appropriate action when they are.