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Observe People Using Your Offerings to Reduce Costs

Feb 10, 2008
After an offering has been finalized and delivered to the beneficiaries, customers, and users, flaws may remain. In the worst cases, offerings will have to be recalled to remedy the dangers. In other cases, user warnings will suffice. In some cases, it will be simple to make adjustments in other ways to eliminate danger.

Long before complaints begin piling up in your offices, accident reports roll in, and lawsuits are filed, accidents and near-accidents will be occurring. A wise offering provider assumes that such problems will ensue and plans for them.

A possible model to consider can be found in the software industry. Developers know that internal testing will only reveal some of the many flaws. Rather than expose people to dangers from flawed software, developers make beta test software versions available to people who test the software in various practical ways that can identify some unanticipated dangers. These testers may be paid to try out the new versions or given other benefits that make the effort worthwhile. Have enough of these tests by savvy users, and the remaining flaws will be greatly reduced.

Software designers have learned to prepare for their designs' flaws. As a result, the software is written so that it can easily be repaired by sending out "patches" to fix various issues. With the advent of the Internet, such patches can be distributed automatically to those who subscribe.

While safety is my focus in this article, avoiding harm has an unexpected benefit for many organizations: Acting with care to fix faults makes customers, beneficiaries, and users more likely to do business with you. This positive response to your care increases sales while decreasing the need for marketing expenditures, providing another important cost saving.

Here's an example: When Saturn first shipped its sedans, the company realized that a batch of its cars had been filled with faulty radiator coolant. While most companies would have alerted the owners to the problem, replaced the radiators and the coolant, and felt satisfied, Saturn went further.

Saturn wanted to have the reputation of being a different kind of car company, one you could trust to look out for you. Saturn decided that the right thing to do was to replace those cars with damaged radiators . . . with new cars! And you didn't have to go to the dealership to make the swap. The dealer would come to you with the new car.

Talk about word-of-mouth advertising buzz. One man reported that neighbors and relatives bought over 40 Saturns after hearing about his replacement experience.

How can you observe people using your offerings?
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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