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Tag Archives: customer experience

Can the cab industry innovate?

Those of us who work and/or live in Cambridge are quite familiar with the controversies stirred up by the wildly successful business, Uber Technologies, Inc. Uber considers itself a technology company, offering a mobile app that connects riders with drivers. The company has taken an innovative approach to making it easier to get from one point to another, eliminating the need to hail a cab on the street.

But most cab companies—from those here in Cambridge and Boston to those in London and Paris—view Uber as an unregulated, competing cab company. Recently, Cambridge License Commission proposed making Uber and other related services subject to the same regulations as taxi cabs; this proposal was met with outrage by locals. Back in May, taxis and taxi drivers from Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline staged a protest outside of Uber’s local headquarters. Cab drivers have also protested in London, Madrid, France, Berlin, and other cities in Europe.

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What do search, the customer decision process, and NYC taxi cabs have in common?

One would think that searching online, how customers select products to purchase, and NY taxi cabs have very little in common. Or, that it’s the start of a joke. Actually both statements are wrong—a quick look at NY taxi cabs reveals a lot about customer behavior.

As Duncan Simester—NTU Chair in Management Science and Professor of Marketing at MIT Sloan School of Management—pointed out in his MIT Sloan Executive Education webinar, “Understanding the Customer Decision Process: Why Good Products Fail,” “Customers exhibit some basic behaviors when they make purchasing decisions: they search for information, they make inferences, and when they can’t search, they use observable information. But this process invariably means tradeoffs.” Continue reading

The new competitive advantage: not leaning in, but leaning forward

Microsoft recently announced a significant restructuring in hopes of reclaiming its lost market share and the trust of its customers. In response, many are asking, “Is restructuring the answer? What changes will Microsoft need to make to regain its competitive edge?”

The Lean Forward Approach

According to Steven Spear, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan and recognized expert on high velocity organizations, the most successful organizations are the ones creating high value with their products, in less time, using less effort. These organizations, says Spear, use the lean forward approach: they consistently seek immediate clarification and amplification of their customer’s voice by leaning into their users’ domain to discover the problems as well as delights of their experience.

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In-flight innovation

Contributed by Grayson Brulte, Co-Founder & President of Brulte & Company

Would you like in-flight Wi-Fi on your next flight? It will cost you a premium in addition to any movies or food that you might purchase on board. If you’re traveling on a plane that offers Gogo, and would like to connect to the internet, it will cost  $14 for a daily pass, and $39.95  for a monthly pass, according to Gogo’s “Buy Before You Fly“ service pricing chart. Forget to buy access before you fly? That will cost you extra, too. Should it? I don’t think so.

Airlines are not innovating and enhancing the in-flight entertainment experience. Instead, they are falling back on their existing model of adding new fees and raising existing fees for services. Fees do not create value—they create customer service headaches.

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