Think out of the box to find out what your customers really want from your company. Henry Ford did it. So can you!

While we’re walking down our yellow brick road to fame and glory, we’ve all heard the famed adage, “the customer is king”. And most of us have lived by it. But is it always right, especially now, in this age of extensive social networking? Can we still trust our customers blindly and give them what they want? Today, a brand can connect directly with their customer and find out exactly what a customer wants. No more guesswork.

Thinking about it, do customers know what they want? I’ve had to deal with this problem one too many times in my line of work. Clients tell me they want to provide a specific solution to their customers’ problem. And when I suggest ideas to them that may seem a tad out of the box, most of them are ecstatic, while a few go into panic mode. Speaking about the ones that go into panic mode, they are the ones that want specific solutions. It’s not a bad thing to give a customer exactly what they want, but is that the best we can do? That’s the big question about your loyal customers and whether we can trust them blindly. Do customers really know what they want?

This reminds me of Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, and what he had said about his customers, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a better horse.”

Ford’s customers would have been jumping with glee had he given them what they wanted, a better horse. But Ford thought beyond what his customers wanted from him. He gave them a car!

Ford probably would have asked himself why they needed a faster horse. Because they wanted to go somewhere faster. He would then have asked himself if the horse even mattered in the equation. His customers may have wanted a good horse, but give them good speed, and frankly, my dear, they wouldn’t give a damn!

Now that’s one of the pioneer “out of the box” strategies. This way, you don’t give your customers what they want, but you surprise them with a better idea that not only solves the problem, but gives them an alternative that’s way better than what they wanted. By understanding what your customers really want, and not just focussing on their social networking updates, any company can build itself an extremely satisfied and loyal set of customers who will turn evangelists for your cause!

So are you brave enough to think beyond what your customers are asking for, and take the plunge to find a better alternative for them? If you want my opinion, I’d say go ahead and take a plunge. You know it’s worth it!