I imagine there are employees at Verizon and Bank of America who are surprised and embarrassed by consumer reaction to the new service fees they recently rolled out; they were enraged. Imagine how awful it must be to make a decision, implement it, and then watch it implode very publicly, very quickly; this happened. Both companies implemented new service fees that didn't add any new service value for consumers. Guess what? They both had to cancel their new fees.
Here's what I think happened--my speculation. Overworked employees are in a rush to get everything done. There's no time to think--just act. They're good people. Their intention isn't to create problems. They're on a project team tasked with generating more revenue. The team does a quick idea generation session--let's charge for existing services, let's add a new service fee for ..., let's break apart our service and raise the price, etc. You get it. Rush. Yes, let's do that. Just like that.
No wonder these companies found themselves rescinding their new service fees. Someone likely asked, "What's the value?" It's a big question. "By charging these user fees, we'll meet our revenue targets." They only considered the company's point-of-view. Big mistake.
Where would you direct your thinking attention if left to the top-of-your-head to come up with answers to the big question everyone is asking these days, "What's the value?"
Try this approach next time you're asked, "What's the value?" Work with a list of specific questions that consider a broad range of value possibilities. Here are some examples. Add to it. Adjust it. Fine-tune it. Just be sure to develop a robust search for value questions checklist.
Search for Value Question Checklist
- What will our customers be able to do that they can't do yet? Why would they want to do that?
- What will make our customers want to adopt this new idea? Is the change worth it to them? Why?
- What becomes obsolete? What is the value in that? For whom? How?
- If we do this, how will employees in our company be affected?
- How does this help our company?
- How does this improve our operations?
- How does this improve the quality of what we do?
- What's new about this? What are the impacts?
- What will competitors think? How will they respond?
- How will this enhance our reputation? How will this hurt our reputation?
The search for value is deliberate. The checklist above is intended to provide you with thinking directions to search for value. Your thinking about value will be more complete. Instead of asking "What's the value?" ask "What's next on our values checklist?" You'll be glad you did.
LIFT Your Thinking ... until next time.