Released on JANUARY 12, 2024
The 1978 film, Grease, follows the romantic journey of Danny Zuko, played by John Travolta, and Sandy Olsson, played by Olivia Newton-John. You’re The One That I Want is the theme to the denouement of the story, when both characters recognize the persona of the other and reimagine who they could be for each other.
Creating a product that customers want requires understanding the various customer personas. After all, not every customer is looking for Greased Lightning! Jason Trujillo and Kate Kompelien bring their incredible experience and insights to this episode of Next in Queue as we discuss:
Connect with Jason on LinkedIn
Connect with Kate on LinkedIn
Music courtesy of Big Red Horse
Rob Dwyer (00:02.254)
Kate, Jason, thank you both for being next in queue. Jason, first time for you, Kate returning for her second appearance, although it's been a long time. So I think probably we've got some introductions that are in order before we start talking about delivering great products to customers today. So Kate, let's start with you. Remind the audience who you are.
what you do and maybe share something fun about yourself.
Sure, so I'm Kate Complen. I'm the executive director of strategy and design consulting for T-Tech Digital. Something fun about myself, I really love Kansas State wild-capped football, not the Jayhawks. And one more thing.
Rob Dwyer (00:53.27)
Oh, okay, it's going to be that kind of show folks get ready for it. Thank you, Kate.
One more thing is I decided, so I read it on a LinkedIn post that you should, as you kind of grow up, if you would, you should challenge yourself. So this year I decided to try my hand at bartending.
Rob Dwyer (01:18.222)
Ooh, I love that. Okay, so quick question. What's been the favorite new drink that you've learned how to make?
and old-fashioned. I don't like old-fashioned, but I learned how to make them and it was really fun.
Rob Dwyer (01:30.551)
Rob Dwyer (01:36.17)
I actually just had an old fashioned this weekend. I love them, they're fantastic. I actually had this great little bowling alley we have in my hometown. It's, they've just reopened it. It's like an old 50s bowling alley. It's like going back in time. It's a really cool place. So shout out to the Holiday Bowl in Augusta.
Hope for them. We're at.
Rob Dwyer (02:02.69)
Thanks, Kate. You are joined by a friend of yours, Jason. Jason, introduce yourself. Tell us about you and maybe something fun.
So I'm Jason Trujillo. Spent most of my career as a consultant. So I'm constantly kind of ebbing and flowing out of consulting. Some fun facts. I do love travel and I am crazy about food, but I'm always adding crazy constraints around food because I'm also a health freak. So like right now I'm doing low sugar.
sort of a modified keto slash Atkins. So at the same time, I'm always looking how to make that like incredibly culinary, incredibly enjoyable. So I'm constantly running experiments with food. So it's one of my major quirks, I would suppose.
Rob Dwyer (03:02.73)
What has been your kind of recent success in delivering a culinary delight that had those constraints?
So I absolutely have a sweet tooth and so I it's really hard for me to give up desserts but I have found a keto yogurt that it doesn't go by like keto on the label because some of them do but it's a lower sugar low carb yogurt and I'm adding different like sugar-free uh chocolate sort of substitutes to it
Um, Hershey's actually has some pretty good stuff out. I'm just, I'm trying out their, uh, Reese's pieces and their, their almonds, uh, Hershey's with it's, it's great. So put a little bit of that into the yogurt with some pecans and maybe a little bit of almond butter and I'm off to the races. Like I don't know that I'm on, like that's the trick, right? To fool yourself into, Hey, I'm not, I haven't changed anything.
I'm just as fulfilled and happy. And I think that that's the key or that's the secret to successfully sticking to some sort of routine with food. So having some success with that, but that's probably one of my big victories in the past week.
Rob Dwyer (04:23.746)
I love it. I love it. Well, thanks for sharing that. And thank you both for joining the show today. You know, we talked a while back. This show has been a long time in the making. We talked.
doing a show about delivering great products. And I think the people who listen to this show on a regular basis know that we talk a lot about customer experience. We talk a lot about support. We talk a lot about the things that come after a product is out in the wild and how we work with our customers to create great experiences.
I've never spent any time talking about creating the actual product. And so that's what we're going to talk about today is how do we actually create a product that delivers great experiences? And that is easier said than done. It is not as simple as most people think. So you know, I think when people think of things that fail really often.
restaurants come to mind, right? So 60% of restaurants fail within the first year, 80% fail within the first five years. But when you talk about products, 95% of these fail really quickly. Why is that?
I think one of, it's interesting, I was just having this conversation, it's almost as though you were eavesdropping into it a few days ago, but I know you weren't there Rob, cause I'm in San Diego and you're in the Midwest. But I think that the reason that happens oftentimes is you get folks who open restaurants who are artists and they're really sort of attached to that culinary experience. And I think that that's really powerful, but if they're not partnering with someone who has business savvy or business acumen.
Rob Dwyer (06:06.346)
I promise I wasn't, I promise.
I don't know that you have all the pieces to the puzzle, right? And then conversely, you can get someone who is really good at business and starting up an operation, but doesn't have that attachment to the art, to the culinary piece. You really need to have both the sort of the execution from an operations perspective, as well as the artistry of actually making really good food. And I think it's that combination of the two.
Rob Dwyer (06:55.187)
I love that.
And I would add there's an experience element to it as well, right? So a chef generally has a product that they're excited about making and selling that they believe consumers will like and so part of it is Really understanding the full story behind the food you're presenting and then what experience what do you want people to feel? What do you want people to walk away saying about your their experience and their food?
So it's not as much about, you know, I'm gonna have a coffee shop with real homemade baked goods, but it's about, you know, what types of products do people want with their coffee in this particular area in the cities? And what atmosphere do they wanna walk into? In what time of day? And it's really understanding more of that total experience you wanna offer as well. It's not just about the product you're serving.
Rob Dwyer (07:50.158)
Yeah, Kate, you hit on something that I want to dig into just a little bit deeper. And that is the emotional side of things. So a product is it can be wonderful, right? There are lots of great products out there, whether they're food based, whether they're software based, whether it's something that you're walking into your local grocery store or hardware store, whatever the case may be. But there's.
I think people often forget that emotions are what drive people to make decisions. Can you talk about how you go about creating an emotional connection with customers as you're developing a product?
Yeah, I actually have a really good story from when I worked at the Pillsbury company. My friend Penny and I were tasked with changing the pie dough from a folded format to a rolled format. And we did all of these ethnographic, all this ethnographic research where we went into the homes of kitchens, because our population...
was getting older and older and older and our volume was like getting smaller and smaller and smaller. So we had to figure out like how do we make pie dough more trendy to today? And what it really landed on was the emotions behind baking a pie. When I bake pie, I want it to be my pie that I made. I don't want them to know that I used a Pillsbury pie dough. But I want to use a Pillsbury pie dough because it's a lot of shortcuts for me. And if I, the folded pie dough, there's all these creaks and cracks.
creases in it and cracks and they have to spend so much time like rolling it out and making all the cracks disappear or else people will know that this is a pill spray title and not my own. And so we discovered there's like a lot of emotions behind that. And one other example I have is with Czech cereal, we were the first, it was the first time General Mills launched a gluten free brand.
And we did all this research around how to advertise around it. And what we found is people that had gluten allergies didn't feel normal. They felt like they were always like bothering people by please substitute this, don't have this, don't have that. And what it came down to is they just wanted to be normal. So to have a mainstream brand like Chex where they could have a box of Chex and they didn't have to put everything in this little baggie and like bring their own snacks.
was a really powerful thing. So emotion is just getting to the bottom of what's driving people from an emotional perspective is really important. And in both cases, when we did that, we saw volumes increased dramatically after launching.
Rob Dwyer (10:40.686)
Yeah, I love that. So great just really understanding the emotion behind a product and why people use a product or what will drive people to a product can really make a huge impact on adoption going forward. Jason, let's talk about just the start of developing a product. And I'm thinking in general more of like a
SaaS product. These are probably the products that most of the people listening to this show are thinking about. But
Rob Dwyer (11:19.746)
Where do most product development efforts start? And is that the right place?
Yeah, it's usually not the right place. Usually it's and it's true. And it feels like the larger the enterprise and the more established the enterprise, the more you go in the wrong direction. I feel like the startups get it right most of the time right out of the gate. But yeah, the larger the enterprise, the more Fortune 100 it is. Usually
Rob Dwyer (11:31.47)
the less you're starting in the right spot. So what does that mean? So generally, you're starting with someone who has a great idea. They've been with the company for, say, a decade, maybe two decades into their career. They may even have the MBA. They're definitely qualified in business. They're very experienced. They are very knowledgeable about the internal operations of the company, the history of the company. They're very familiar with the culture. That doesn't make them an expert on
what the next best product is to develop, unfortunately, because usually it's starting with the internal view of someone within the company. Some folks call them the hippo, the highest paid person in the room, right? And it's their opinion, the highest paid person's opinion. And so it starts with a hypothesis of, well, we developed this product last year and this one five years ago, and hey, wouldn't this be a great idea? And that's sometimes, and oftentimes, the genesis of a new product.
And unfortunately, that doesn't sort of anchor us into the insights of customer experience, what the customer is looking for. Sometimes it doesn't take into perspective really what's emerging across, you know, across the marketplace. And sometimes you have these new entrants, these, you know, these lean startups that are very nimble and very close to the pulse of what is hot and what, what the buzz is and what really is going to
you know, get consumers to reach into their pockets. So really we tend to start with the highest paid person's opinion. The more large you go on an enterprise level, the further away you are from a CX or customer-driven experience. And that's not the place to start. Where you want to start is understanding the customer. And so what does that mean? I think a good place to start and I know...
We hear about this all the time in our customer journey maps, but they really are. They're very basic, but they're very important. It's understanding what the customer's experience is before they engage with your organization, with your company, with your product, with your service, while they're engaged with your service, and what their experience is after. And all of those steps along the journey are critical.
And we dive in even further into those customer journey maps and look at what are called moments that matter or critical touch points to understand where there is existing friction within the customer experience. And I've worked with Kate at a former company I worked for, and we actually did interviews of customers across multiple segments. So based on multiple different persona types.
to understand what that customer journey was. And interestingly enough, it's not gonna be the same for everyone, especially for example, if your journey has technology as part of it, right? If you're my mom, it's gonna be a very different experience than if you're my nephew, right? Because of the sort of comfort that people have and the savviness that they have with technology. And so you really have to look at that journey from...
not just one person's perspective, but from multiple perspectives. And then you need to decide where you're gonna sort of prioritize what customer, what persona you're gonna prioritize for. Are you gonna prioritize it for my mom or are you gonna prioritize it for my nephew? And that may depend, right? And sometimes the lowest common denominator is where you wanna start. But all of that just depends on your research. And so you discover that by...
interviewing folks based on that customer journey and understanding their experience. So that deep empathy is where you want to start. If you start there, you're starting in the right place. And it's remarkable how many companies really just are not in touch with that. And I think that they think that there's some magic pixie dust you have to have to be successful or effective. But the reality is, is you don't. And you can be very new to it and still get really close to, you know, the right product and the right, you know.
the right features that are going to change the customer's life and really build that loyalty you're looking for.
Rob Dwyer (16:11.15)
Yeah, that's really insightful. And I'm glad that you brought up journey maps. I think anyone who's listened to this show for a long enough time has probably heard us talk about journey maps more than once. But Kate, can you maybe walk us through the difference between the journey map and a process map and why I do both of those?
Yeah, that's a great question. So with Journey Maps, as Jason said, you're really looking to understand the end to end experience. And it's really important for a cross-functional team at any company to be involved in that. So you get out of your silos and you see what you can control and what you can affect and how that, when a customer comes into your part of the journey, what are they trying to do next? Because a big part of what companies miss today,
Is there so in their silos and they're, they know a lot of the problems and issues within their space, but by missing out the context of the whole journey, if they're making all these changes and what they think are of improvements to the journey and they don't know what's happening before or after their spot in the journey, they're just going to create more problems. And so it's really important for a cross-functional team to get that total understanding. And then once you do, you can start to innovate around moments that matter.
So how can we even be better? How can we own these key moments? And then solve the pain points that really ladder up to those key moments. So the journey is more of the experience the customer is having along their total experience with you. Whereas a process map, and so we often, once we get to the current state journey, when there are journey phases that are ripe with problems, there's sometimes 20, 30, 40 problems within the journey.
part of the journey, we recommend to a customer, let's process map. And process map is the internal processes that then reflect to the customer of what they have to do or what they're running into in the journey. And a lot of times internal processes, and that could be training, content, technology, regulations, all sorts of things, can be what's causing the pain points for the employee.
and the customer. And if it's causing it for the employee, it ultimately is gonna reflect and cause it for the customer. And so because we've already done journey mapping, we can then overlay on top of the process map, the pain points that are being caused by that part of the process. And then you can use design thinking to solve problems for both the journey perspective and the process perspective. I usually have different folks that are in the...
design thinking sessions for the journey, because that's typically more around designing new products and experiences. Whereas from a process perspective, I usually have the people that are experts in the existing processes or across particular technology, because they're gonna have the most knowledge around kind of how to fix and optimize some of these areas of problems.
Rob Dwyer (19:32.636)
I really love the question because I think there's so much importance around it's not an either or an or, I think it's an and. You really do want to focus on experience management, which means absolutely the customer is the center of it. And you also want to focus on the employee experience, which the process flow diagrams really capture.
And as Kate mentioned, if there's friction points within the, on the employee side, it's definitely going to have an impact on the customer side. I think an example of that, and we, I think we see it often is if you call a customer service line and you have a bad experience, you may, you may hang up and call back because you just.
it wasn't going well, right? So you call back a second time and you may get a completely different experience with a completely different answer, which means you have a lot of variability and not, you know, there's not enough standardization around that customer experience. And if you don't have that right, you need to start there because that is definitely contributing to friction. And you have to solve for that because inevitably the employee is the ambassador of your brand.
and of that experience. And you don't wanna have one without the other. You really do need to capture both. And I really love that point that Kate mentioned, which is once you have your customer journey map built out and sometimes you're just updating it and you should be continuously updating it. You don't want it to go stale because there's constantly change within the organization, within the marketplace, within the customer experience. You should be in a daily operating review looking at that experience to understand where you may be falling off or your KPIs may be dropping.
And you may not know why it's dropping. It might just be that there's a new entrant into the marketplace and now the expectation of the customer is elevated and you're not keeping pace with that. But anyways, long story short, is you do want to ensure that you're looking at both, that you're measuring both and that you're maintaining that holistic view to ensure that you're having that comprehensive experience for the customer.
Rob Dwyer (21:34.83)
One of the things that we talk about a lot is the customer. And I think there is often an assumption that when we're talking about the customer, we're talking about people who are buying a product or service from a company. But sometimes when we're developing a product, it's an internal facing product. It's a product that a quote unquote customer is never going to interact with or see.
But there are lots of different stakeholders within an organization. Can you talk about how, if at all, it's different approaching that process for an internal product versus a customer-facing product? And what's different about that? What do I need to think about?
Yeah, so especially with SaaS products, employees are expected to use a lot of new technology and companies, I would say probably have the same success rate of 95% failure of getting full usage anyway, out of the technology they're trying to get their employees to use because they're just deciding at the top level that let's say CRM is not working. They're not using it.
appropriately. So they'll get the latest CRM system, they'll put it into place, and then they'll find like all these people are employees are still using Excel or there are all these employees are skipping these parts of the process. And so it's critically important that you understand for any technology system before even deciding what company is what problem are you trying to solve? What do your
employees like about the current technology? What do they wish it could do and what don't they like? And so that as you're finding a new technology provider, making sure they have the things that they have to do day in and day out in their job and how do we make that easier? And then, you know, getting rid of some of the shortfalls in the current system and then testing and iterating as they're starting to roll it out and starting with what are the most important
important features and functions. And then let's make sure we get a group of core users and start to get their feedback early and often so that we can make the appropriate changes. And then they become your champions across employee groups. And then they can start training the trainer. So there's a lot around training the trainer and how do we get employee buy-in, which also leads to change management, which is a whole different topic. But what stuck with me when I went through
change management training and pro-sci, is that you need to make people think that it's their own idea and that they were able to shape it. And I find this fascinating, and I hope none of my current customers listen to this particular piece, but I find it fascinating with current state journey mapping. I'm gonna go back to that for a second
When you have a group of cross-functional employees and sometimes customers in the room, letting them have a voice and letting them put up posts where they think the experience is today and what they believe the pain points are, you know, let's them have put like their thumbprint on it and whether those posts all stay on the map or not doesn't really matter to that person. I've never had a customer come back to me and say, you forgot my post-it.
And it's all around getting buy-in, getting a shared understanding. And so that I think is what's, you know, really important about getting employee feedback and not just expecting because you want them to use this technology that they're going to do.
I'm working with a team right now that I love that, Kay. I'm working with a team right now and we've mapped out the journey of the customer. And it's actually like a map with the process flow diagram above and the customer journey just below. It's an internal experience for the employees. It's actually for managers that are onboarding new employees or contractors. And we are...
actively interviewing managers to understand that journey. And I think there's really not a tremendous difference between whether you're doing it for an external consumer or an internal employee. It's still an experience. They're still gonna be a human centered.
focus, you're still going to want to dive into the emotions and where the pain points are and the frustration, the friction is. And obviously you want to solve for that internally so that if you do have an employee that is having an external consumer facing interaction, that is a seamless experience for both.
Again, just focusing on the employee as the ambassador of your brand and of your experience for the customer.
Rob Dwyer (27:01.534)
Yeah, absolutely, Jason. I mean, I think we often forget about how important the first experience with a company is, which is that onboarding experience. Maybe you could say the recruiting experience is the first experience, but you can go from a really great recruiting experience and ruin everything with a horrible onboarding experience and just...
really throw away all the money that you spent in recruiting a person because they decide, well, I don't want to be here. These people have no idea what they're doing just based off of the first few weeks of their onboarding. And that in itself is a product. We may not think of it as a product, but I hear, you know, both of you brought up the F word, feedback. Sometimes,
Rob Dwyer (27:55.926)
People get really scared of that word, but that is a critical component to moving things forward. So Kate, you talked about testing and iteration, and part of that process is getting feedback, right?
Yes, and I always have to remind my clients that feedback is a gift that nobody intends to create a product that's full of problems that you are the I love this cookbook not cookbook. Sorry author editor comparison. So if I'm writing a book I might have like spelling mistakes forgot a period set a funny word instead of the word that was in my head. And if I don't have an editor that's going back through and reading and reading and reading it.
Because me as the author, I'm going to continue to see the same thing, the same words, the same order and the same flow. And it's going to make sense to me. It's going to look right. And so I really love that example and making people feel better that you're not nobody is going to nobody. I challenge anyone in this world to tell me that they launched a product and it was 100% perfect and there was not one thing that could have been improved upon.
I love that. I actually just last week was coaching a product team and I could feel that there was like some defenses rising cause we were focused on a pain point with it. And there was one group that's like, well, we own that. And I could just feel the temperature rising. And I said, just a second, like, let's just stop for a moment. This experience has evolved over years, different technologies.
different add-ons, and let's just acknowledge that it was probably perfect when it rolled out, and it just, for some reason now, is something we just need to come back and visit. And then I remind them, no matter what we build, even if today we build a product that hits all of our KPIs and all of our metrics around the experience, we're probably still gonna have some pain points within the new experience. And we're always just going to be in a continuous iteration of, you know,
refinement. And so I try to remind folks that just so that people don't take it personally when the pain point or the friction point, that critical moment for the customer, for the human, was suboptimal. So that's a really, really good point. And I think it's important to, as a coach, to sort of remind folks no matter what we build, there's always going to be a level next and we're always going to be looking for that level.
One other thing I want to add, we've been talking a lot about starting with a problem to solve. And even when you start with a problem to solve, you're going to have a relevant product, but that doesn't mean that the way you brought to life to solve that problem, not you, but like a group of people is again going to launch without issues. So I'll give an example when I was working for a retail company. They heard a lot of pain points around.
can't find store associates, can't see where products are located within the store. And so they had a really good solution of, well, let's lower our shelves. Let's lower them so that customers can see across the entire store. They can see where the store associates are. They can see where the products are located. And it definitely did solve those two problems. But it didn't.
didn't, they had to continue to do research while they were going through this evolution, the store evolution to make the shopping patterns and understand that the way people travel around the store is usually right to left, it's usually counterclockwise. And so they still had to take a lot of other things into consideration and I'll get a lot of customer feedback throughout the journey, but it was like.
I like that example because it solved two distinct problems. Can't find someone, can't find my stuff. It solved those two problems. And so really, and I know Jason has some examples here too, but starting with a problem to solve and understanding the functional and the emotional needs behind that. Think about the emotional needs of, I'm no longer frustrated.
Right? Because I can find someone to help me and I can find my product. I can get them, get in my way and get things done quicker in my day. So there's like a lot of positive emotions. And instead of having people leave your store irritated, they leave your store happy. Um, yeah.
Yeah, I really love that. It's interesting some research came out. I want to say it was in 21 or 2022 around customer loyalty and around what do we do to elevate and delight customers. And the research was, I think, a little bit shocking for some folks.
It was that customers don't necessarily want to be delighted or surprised or overwhelmed with glee. They just want to be able to get through the tasks they're trying to accomplish with your company. Like if you just make that easy for them, right? Then I know there's customer effort scores. If you can just make that easy, you already are usually, you know, ahead of the pack with your competition. Um.
One group of one product team that I worked with was redesigning a retail experience on the iPad. So being able to shop on the iPad and we had a multi-channel and Omni-channel sort of strategy for the customer experience. And our research told us that folks that are using an iPhone versus a desktop versus an iPad
very different goals. Generally, you're doing your research on a desktop, you're completing tasks on your iPhone, and on your tablet, it's more leisure and more browsey. You just wanna be immersed in ideas. And so we tapped into that, and we had to start with an iPad app that already had some friction in it.
And our first job was to reduce that and eliminate it. Because if we can't just enable the customer to do the task or the job that they came to do, then we are already behind the game. So as soon as we optimize that experience on just sort of the basics, then we went into things like making it more browsey and more socially engaging and did integration with Instagram.
et cetera. But you really do need to start with just making that experience seamless and easy for the customer. But again, I go back to Kate's point, you want to have an iterative feedback loop continuously as you're designing your new experience. And so with that example with shelf levels and a retail location, we would make...
enhancements to that iPad experience. And then we'd stand outside of the store and offer gift cards if someone could give us. We just do these intercepts, right? Can we have 10 minutes of your time to show you our latest development for the iPad? And so we sit down with the customer for a couple minutes, ask them to complete a task or give us some feedback on what their experience was shopping on that app.
And that was really powerful for us because we were able to continuously iterate before it even went to the marketplace. And so we knew even before it launched that we were nailing it because we had that continuous feedback loop with a customer.
Yeah, that reminds me when I was a market researcher at General Mills, we were trying to figure out like how to cut our product development time in half. And so we tried this really weird, people might think it's really weird, but we took things and put it on the shelf that had no product in it. It didn't have professional marketing. We were just trying to get a sense for what was important about that product. Where did their eye go?
Rob Dwyer (36:13.107)
What was their initial feedback? And then we'd whisk that back to the lab. They'd make quick updates, throw it back in the shelf. And it cut product development time. I think back then, this was back way in 2006, 7, 8, like way long ago. And I think it was taking about a year and a half to develop product back then. And we got it down to under 12 months just by getting quick initial bits of customer feedback.
Rob Dwyer (36:41.053)
But I also think back to Jason's point, like role of channel is so critical. If you don't understand your role of your channel, why are they going on an app versus an iPad versus store? When are they calling into customer care? You want to develop the best experience for those few key moments within that channel instead of trying to do everything for everyone. And I've...
One more thing back to that effort is I have had so much listening and understanding in my career when I talk to customers about how if you're causing me effort, I'm gonna drop out of your experience and I'm not gonna be back. And I like NPS, but I love effort because I believe that employees can get their head around how to reduce effort.
And there are so many friction points in a journey. And that is what leads to a lot of emotional baggage. That when you make customers go through what I call these micro moments, the more you ask a customer to do for you, the more likely they are to drop out of your experience.
Rob Dwyer (38:28.206)
Kate, you just sent me into a micro moment when you said 2006 was so, so long ago. And it was, but I don't need to be reminded. Of how long ago that was because. I just don't, I just don't. That was actually, uh, that was my first year in the twin cities, uh, 2006. And it was a long time ago. Um, but yeah, thanks.
Rob Dwyer (38:55.874)
Thanks for reminding me of that. I really appreciate it. Before we wrap things up, we've been talking a lot about successes and what to do to be successful. I'm wondering if either of you have a fun, spectacular failure that you can point to and go, see, this is why it's so important because you don't wanna be this.
So I think one that just if you Google failures of products, which really started from the inside out, so within the organization, the highest paid person's opinion, I think you have a lot of, there's a lot of examples. Two that come to mind, one of them is Nokia. So Nokia really relied heavily on big data.
to drive their product strategy and their product development. And they lost touch with the human experience, the qualitative piece, really understanding the emotional experience of the customer. And I think that drove them further and further away from sort of the smartphones as we know them today. And so I think there was an opportunity there that they missed when they really had such a
a lead in the marketplace with their products early on in the late 90s. So I think that's one example. Another one, interestingly enough, is also related to the mobile phone, the smartphone experience. And it might be, and if you Google it, it will come up in the search, the Fire Phone from Amazon. Again, it was...
You know, Google's doing it, Apple's doing it, and it began to be sort of an internal pet project. And I think that the data would show that there wasn't enough research on the customer experience and where they could maybe have some edge. Being sort of, I call it bilingual, I know the Android platform and I know the iPhone platform.
They both have some really cool features and it's actually hard for me to decide which one I want to go with. I generally get anchored to the password continuity between all devices. And that's what sort of keeps me in the iOS environment. But the, the fact is, is we, we just need to stay anchored in that customer experience, that human experience and knowing what that is from the outside, not from the inside out, but from the outside in.
Rob Dwyer (41:43.202)
Jason, that was a serious throwback. The Fire Phone. Google it, kids. That was a thing. Amazon has done a lot of things really well. That was not one of them. You're absolutely right. Kate, you had something else.
Yeah, I had, I worked for a brand that tried to, they named a portion of their store, Health and Wellness. And there was a huge outcry from consumers, Health and Wellness with their name in front of it. And there was a huge outcry from consumers that you don't have permission to be an expert or play in the space because you're a technology company. You sell technology products.
Rob Dwyer (42:25.71)
And so through some, by just changing it to health technology, all of a sudden they got permission in the space. So it's also to understand what do your customers think of you, right? What do you stand for to them? What space do you have permission to play in? And so when companies are developing products, I think that's an important perspective to keep in mind.
Rob Dwyer (42:58.538)
I think that is fantastic advice.
Sort of like.
Sort of like what Jason was saying too with Amazon and their Fire Phone or Xfinity in their phone. And I think, dear Lord, I would never buy an Xfinity phone. I hate Xfinity. And if we had another hour of podcasts, I could tell you Xfinity story after Xfinity story, which is horrendous customer experience.
Rob Dwyer (43:28.975)
I think we know how Kate's NPS survey is gonna go with Xfinity. Xfinity, if you're listening, would not recommend. Thank you both for joining. It's been a great conversation. I really appreciate your time and can't wait for people to listen in and hopefully make some takeaways in their product development journey so that they can.
knock things out and have some great successes. Thank you both.
Thank you, Rob.
It's a real pleasure. Thank you.