Julkaistu 15.04.2013

Customer is set as a first priority and absolutely for a reason.  That is a right place for our customers – we entrepreneurs know that very well, without customers we are nothing, simply nothing.
At service design we have emphasized customer oriented approach, which includes strong knowhow about the needs of our customer. And we are even including the customer to product development processes: we have started to co-design.
How about the entrepreneur? In the end, are these two approaches, customer orientation and Me orientation in conflict?

“If I had listened my customers, I would do now faster horses” – Henry Ford

“If I had listened my customers, I would do now faster horses” – Henry Ford  Photo: Magic of Nuuksio , Finland.

Sometimes hospitality entrepreneurs are blamed for doing their business only for themselves. This can be true in some cases. This is simply, because for some of the entrepreneurs hospitality is only one part of their income, considered maybe as a hobby. But this is NOT the case for most of the entrepreneurs. Instead most of the entrepreneurs are doing business from the bottom of their heart! They want to have genuine and successful business. But before the success, there have to be a start and it is not possible to have everything ready at once. During this period the incompleteness is faced.
But when and where Me oriented attitude, just looking in depths of your own situation is considered as the right thing to do?
When we want to create experiences – being bravely different using our own personality – we need to have strong Me oriented attitude. And when we want to do story based service design, we need to go even further and deeper inside of our own personality and our own values. Question: why we really exist? – is asked. We need to think about the most important niche, the core factor, which makes us different from competitors. How we could bring the core factor to the daylight and front to the customers? That is not found by doing researches from the customers and their desires. The best experiences are started and developed from the enterprises strong personal approach and brave solutions. And this is in fact also the way all the best art pieces are created  – from inside out – not the other way around.
When solutions are ready, begins the customer orientated stage in operation – we need guarantee to the customers easy access to the services. Each details of the functionality are planned and modified according to selected segment. Received feedback and monitoring results are respected. Analysis is done both with numbers and by heart.
Beside the customer oriented and Me oriented approach, sometimes also just basic, we could say ground oriented approach is more than welcome – be steady, put your feet firmly to the ground and act now.
ps. Tarinakone´s own character Story Sheep liked this Me orientated article because the word Me sounds bit like sheep´s own language in Finnish.  Story Sheep is telling stories also in Facebook. Maybe soon it will say something also in English.
(This Tarinakone StoryDesign article was translated by Heidi Forss-Anila.)

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