Customers don't say goodbye


Demand for your products or services will not fall. Instead, customers will spend their money with other firms, and they won't phone you to say goodbye.

10 Nov 2021
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Ajaz Ahmed - Chairman



Customers buying patterns have started to change, and it is not a case that it might happen. It's already begun to happen. The question is, will your firm be on board the new technology train? Because many companies have yet to board the new technology train properly.

The problem is straightforward. Customers want to buy things that most firms won't be selling, and they want to buy them in different way. New start-ups will sort out the problem, and that's where the money will go in the future. As demand changes, old firms will sell things in the same old way and then disappear.

We can't pretend that change isn't coming, so we can't carry on making well-crafted arguments for maintaining the status quo because no one person can delay the inevitable. It's going to happen whether you like it or not.

Disruptors always come from outside an industry. If you don't change, you will not respond to customers' future needs, and a disruptor will take your customers.

When the disruptor arrives, and the incumbents ignore them, are you going to behave like a Luddite? If you are, then start reading your history books now and learn from the past.

A disruptor is a new, alternative source of supply that appeals to customers in ways that the existing supplier can't. The disruptors appeal lies in its ability to provide unique value to the customer in a course or a manner that the incumbent providers have overlooked, ignored, or believed to be impossible. A disruptor typically adopts new business models different from the incumbent, one designed for the customer needs.

The disruption theory is that alternative suppliers grow market share, starting from the edges of a market. They then work their way up into higher-value sectors.

Then at a certain point, the established supplier collapses, and the challenger becomes the new incumbent. There are many examples of this, and you don't need me to list them.

You can't afford to not worry about disruption. Please don't carry on adjusting the window dressing when it's the foundations that need some attention. 

When I talk to people about their business that I think will be disrupted, they always start with a bit of a laugh and then tell me why things can't change and how it's not in the customer’s best interest. They are glass half empty people.

Many MDs I've met favourite line is "you just don't understand." My response is “Yes, I do.”

Ajaz Ahmed

Chairman

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