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The Benefits Of Change

The benefits of change include the features and advantages of change, but what about the customer?

When a business starts a campaign to market a new product or service, is it really thinking about the customers or is it hoping to persuade the customers that ‘change’ is good for them?

Let’s look for a win-win solution and try to discover any evidence of mutual benefit. Let’s find out if the business actually starts its research with the customer or merely adopts a selfish, money-grabbing approach as a framework for growth.

Change is a strange subject in that it is something very few of us actually understand or like to do. It is often difficult to achieve without help from someone who has gone through the same change or someone like myself who enjoyed it as a career within Management Consulting.

The visual aspect of change can sometimes be appreciated ahead of any material shift from old to new. Take the re-decorating of a kitchen or living room for example, we notice the difference it ‘appears’ to make to the size and lighting of the room – is this an illusion or is there a real difference made by the change of colour and texture of the walls?

The real value of making change can often be in the perception of an improvement rather than any actual uplift in value. ‘Perception is reality’ when it comes to the interface between business product and the customer. If the customer thinks it is better, then it is part way to being better. However, the business owner needs to make an actual value uplift as well as letting the customer ‘think’ there is an improvement. Now we come to the proof… good marketing will focus on this with facts and figures and an easily understood description of change improvement.

Having more features is one thing but having more relevant or beneficial features is another! The old story of features and benefits comes into play with a real test of the customer’s ‘wants’ and ‘needs’. Ask the customer what they really want and need from the product or service and they’ll tell you that they don’t want 14 ways to switch it on! They want ease of use, value for money and reliability. They also want to save time wherever possible. If in the process of product change the business owner can present any or all of the customer wants and needs, there is a chance that beneficial change is taking place.

Benefits of change are what the customer is looking for. Features are irrelevant unless they are desired. However, features with advantages (well defined and presented) can be the bedrock of marketable change for a company, its products and services. Change for the customer can therefore be encouraged by the business owner providing the ‘customer wins’ first!

If you are a business owner or product designer you will be wise to ensure the customer wins before you win. Change is a scarey subject, a bit like asking someone to strip off their clothes to find out if the world prefers them naked! There’s a risk involved for everyone.

Change is inevitable and we need to learn all about it’s character, its challenges and rewards in the form of the benefits of change. In spite of being a professional change agent, I do not subscribe to the analogy of change with rape as Confucius might have pronunced it… if Change is inevitable, lay back and enjoy it! I believe that customers should challenge all change proposals vigorously in order to be part of the transition from good to better and from better to best. Business people should consult and involve their customer base on all aspects of CHANGE.Green people change

Imagine the best businesses of the future, they are all aware of the benefits of change, particularly around customer involvement; they totally integrate their customers into their development plans making it virtually impossible for change rejection or development failure.Change is here to stay, particularly in the boardroom. Imagine Future Change – Customer and CEO…  together as ONE!


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