Successful Businesses Solve Personal Annoyances

Helping a colleague launch a new business, we discussed different business models designed to meet customer needs. However in framing the question as to what was needed, we began focusing on the annoyances people experience and how to overcome them, and realized the power of this approach.

For decades, people used taxis and car-services to obtain transportation from place A to B, and assumed because of the demand, most people were happy.  Most people experienced annoyances and no-one did much about them. People had to go out in the rain to hail a cab; once in the cab they weren’t always happy with the accommodations and friendliness of the driver. They didn’t know the final price of the ride in most cases – leading them to stare at the meter; then they had to navigate the pay system. Black car services were better at some things (no need to stand in the rain), but were rarely on-demand and often more expensive.

With a focus on overcoming these annoyances, Uber, Lyft and other such companies stole market share and created a new market from people who were not regular customers.

Similarly, many people hire accountants, insurance agents and attorneys at different parts of their lives and forge relationships with individual members. Providers focus on specific needs and meet them; if they’re sole practitioners or small practices, clients often seek other firm practitioners to meet additional needs. Even if the professional is part of a larger firm, clients often don’t feel an allegiance to use another member, despite the annoyance of having to go to a different office to meet with another ‘specialist”. They’re annoyed with practitioners from different firms don’t coordinate efforts to come up with a customer-centric solution.

Annoyance-reduction can result when attorneys, accountants, financial representatives, etc. aggregate into larger firms. To do so, they need to communicate the value of annoyance-reduction; they need to provide members with incentives to a work as a team to cross-sell and provide great team-service to deliver the benefits of customer-centric service. All too often, practitioners work in “silos” with little real client-centric teamwork.

Take some time to discover the annoyances that your customers experience; take time to understand those that non-customers experience, which stops them from using you. Then improve your business model so new and existing customers feel better about using your service – and recommending it to others they know that experience similar annoyances.

How are you improving your business model to eliminate or reduce annoyances? Share your experiences. sightseeing in nyc

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