Research Requires Stooping To The Customer’s Stooping Level

The 2020 CX Report gathers trends on how business happens in the computational era by examining the tech stacks for marketing and products in the context of digital transformation.

Russell Ackoff had such an interesting mind. I used to collect all his books but gave most them away by lending them out. My favorite saying of his:

“It is easy to blame others for our own mistakes, but it is hard to correct them by doing so.”

—Russell Ackoff (1919-2009)

In Ackoff’s The Art of Problem Solving he relates a story of how a kitchen appliance manufacturer observed that the most popular products involved no bending or climbing. But the ones that did involve bending, like a dishwasher, were unsuccessful at adoption.

The takeaway? You can’t learn anything important by guessing from the brilliance of your own mind — choose to learn by stooping to your customer’s level. In the case of this example, and if you have a bad back like me, it’s easy to realize quickly how useful stooping can really be. —JM

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