The scary truth is, the only thing harder than getting to the top is staying there. Psychologically, success can be dangerous, because it tricks us into thinking of ourselves as experts and kills our curiosity. In a previous blog post, I introduced my project in collaboration with Diana Kander—our new novel The Curiosity Muscle—and explained why curiosity fuels the path to innovation.
“What are your blind spots?” is the first essential question we answer in The Curiosity Muscle. Without curiosity about what our customers want, we develop blind spots about our business. These are tension points that competitors or some eager entrepreneur will be happy to exploit. In order to stay competitive in today’s fast-changing economy, companies need to figure out how to consistently find their blind spots and solve them to create new value for customers.
Now, these aren’t the same as weaknesses, because you can see your weaknesses. In fact, the trouble with blind spots is that they can hide in broad daylight, disguised as parts of your business you think are thriving, but have grown woefully inadequate. Seeing them requires an openness to being wrong—something not every person or company is willing to do. The obvious can become so engrained that we fail to see what’s right in front of us.
At SMG, blind spots are the reason for our business. It’s our job to listen to customers and employees to help companies understand where they are falling short. It is by remaining curious that we are able to uncover these opportunities and help our clients take action.
One great way to do that is through text analytics—because these are insights gained directly from customer feedback, not a rating on a scale. By tapping into this data source, you can get to the heart of the customer experience, with customers telling you things you never even thought to ask. But you have to be open to hearing their feedback and acting on it. Because something that we think is best-in-class may not be. It is through constant checking, questioning, and validating that we are able to truly uncover our blind spots and give customers what they really want.
Ask. Listen. Act. Repeat.
On an upcoming post, we’ll dive into the second question explored in The Curiosity Muscle: “Are you focused on the right things?” Talk to you then.
Andy Fromm | Chairman + CEO