Complexity and networks favor teams

The Internet is a network. It’s not a hierarchy. In fact, the DNA of the Internet is a distributed network that has no hierarchy, has no center-point. On the Internet, there is no one definitive way to get to anywhere. The best way at any given moment depends on the exact circumstances of that given… Read More »

Collaborating with the enemy

“Instinctive cooperativeness is the very hallmark of humanity and what sets us apart from other animals,” Matt Ridley wrote in The Origins of Virtue. However, he also stated that, “It is a rule of evolution to which we are far from immune that the more cooperative societies are, the more violent the battles between them.”… Read More »

Keeping digital teams happy versus keeping customers happy

I remember presenting to a digital team about how their website was massively too big, with thousands of pages of low quality, often out-of-date content. Metadata and general findability was terrible. There were apps hanging around that had never functioned properly. Everything was a big mess; a really terrible customer experience. I was listened to… Read More »

Toxic branding and how to counteract it

Branding has become synonymous with graft, deceit, manipulation, fake news. A friend of mine, Felipe, is a Brazilian doctor. “Coca Cola is horrible,” he told me recently. “Everyone in Coca Cola knows it’s horrible. Everyone in the TV industry knows it’s horrible. But they make money off each other, and that’s all that matters. We… Read More »

Sometimes chasing volume does make sense

There are digital business models which do require an obsession with volume. These business models capture attention and then sell that attention to advertisers. Attention, of course, is an extremely valuable resource today. “Facebook moderators were instructed not to remove extreme, abusive or graphic content from the platform even when it violated the company’s guidelines,… Read More »

Cult of volume destroys customer experience

“We don’t want to make it easy for people to find stuff, because we want people to stay on our site.” So said George Bell then CEO of search engine Excite, back around 1998. This is how so many traditional managers think. It’s the cult of volume. The obsession with more. Success is about more… Read More »

Support and service is the digital brand

When I think of SMTP.COM, I don’t think about their logo, their corporate colors, their tone, their mission statement or their advertising. Instead, I think of great service. It’s so amazing to find great service today. So amazing to find a company that actually cares about its customers. I just got an email from Alex,… Read More »

Qualitative research: the third essential customer research input

Qualitative research, involving talking to customers in groups or individually can add depth to an understanding of customer behavior and psychology. However, it needs to be framed by quantitative and observational research because, for a variety of reasons, customers can mislead. Some years ago, Norwegians hospitals did a Top Tasks analysis to understand what were… Read More »

Observational customer research

The purpose of observational research is to understand what people are doing. The purpose of qualitative research is to understand what people are thinking or feeling. Only when you combine observational and qualitative research with quantitative data do you get a truly comprehensive understanding of your customers. Service industries have long made customer observation a… Read More »

The three essential sources of customer insight

To truly understand customers it is essential to combine insights from the following research methods: Quantitative Observational Qualitative Quantitative data will tell you what is happening but only if it is configured properly, which often it is not. Bots and other sorts of unpredictable activity can seriously undermine the credibility of the statistics. For example,… Read More »