Why, Oh Why, Did My Business Just Die?

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Today’s marketplace is a quickly shifting one. Technology is now relatively easy and inexpensive which means new ideas can be tested and put to market very quickly. For many companies, these market shifts result in tripping and falling. For other companies, it means soaring success. How do you build a company that doesn’t trip?

Of course, there are tactical steps you can take. Like staying educated on new trends in your industry. Or by being an early adopter to a new technologies or approaches. But tactical steps will only get you so far.

Think of Blockbuster vs. Netflix. In Netflix’s infancy, Blockbuster was in a position to crush Netflix. It owned the market and had all the cash. What it didn’t have is what it needed most: a clear understanding of WHY people went to Blockbuster in the first place.

People went to Blockbuster for entertainment and entertainment is a natural escape from the stresses of everyday life. Netflix didn’t do anything new on WHAT it provided. It was the same DVD movie entertainment that Blockbuster provide. But Netflix introduced one major difference.
Netflix users could keep their DVDs as long as they wanted with no fear of late fees. It just so happens late fees was one of Blockbuster’s major revenue generators.

As the market shifted to a better solution, Blockbuster held on to “how” it generated revenue instead of “why” it provided its service in the first place. That conceptual anchor eventually sunk the company.

In the Tech Support world a similar shift has occurred. Many tech companies fail to realize WHY customers use our services. As nice as we may be, customers don’t want to pay us money to talk to us on the phone or hang out at their office with us. People call Tech support because the customer needs their technology to work. They need to get back to producing whatever good or service they produce in the most efficient manner possible.

For decades, and still today, many tech support companies charge by the hour for their services. They make money by waiting until something breaks and they come in an fix it. In this model, the tech support company makes money only when the customer does not have working technology. Based on this model, the tech support company actually needs something to break in order to stay in business. And that doesn’t make any sense!

Customers need tech support because they need their technology to work. So building your company’s revenue around the EXACT OPPOSITE of what the customer needs is bad for the customer.

Instead, the better model, is to provide the VALUE of WORKING TECHNOLOGY. By proactively gauging and maintaining a business’s technology base, a good tech support company can provide what the customer wants… working technology.

At Strix, we take it a step further. We provide all the tech support a business can use in month for a flat rate. Many called us crazy for this model. How can we control our labor costs if we provide unlimited tech support?

Well, it’s not crazy, it’s natural. With our model, our business interest is aligned with our customer’s. We feel their pain of being down as much as they do because it is costing us money too. And you can bet that we are motivated to increase our focus on providing a service that PREVENTS downtime instead of REACTING to it. Our model is built to thrive on WHY customers use us in the first place.

So what about your business? How can you build a company that doesn’t trip through a swiftly tilting marketplace?

You must constantly think of WHY the customer buys what you produce. WHY the customer buys doesn’t shift, only the solutions available do. Be ready to change your solution to better address the WHY and your business will be on stable ground.