Customer/Problem Fit

The first step with lean is to solve the customer/problem fit. What is the problem your customer is solving with your product or service?

Why do your customers come to you?

and not to your competitor?

Great service isn’t the answer. Nor is better products. Nor delicious food. All of those are gimmes. They are baseline standards.

No, your customers are coming to you for a solution to their problem.

For instance: every restaurant has delicious food and good service. What experience do your customers want from your restaurant? Why are they choosing you over every other food option out there.

Is it comfort? Speed? Conversation? Relaxation? Fueling?

What story are they telling themselves?

Are they thinking about getting food in as quickly as possible at as low a price as possible? Is this merely a functional experience?

Are they treating themselves? Are they looking to be pampered and fed delicious food and drink?

Are they sharing the experience with someone else? Are they making an impression? Are they giving this gift to a loved one? Are they showing their kids how to be in the world?

Are they concerned with the food? Do they have allergies or intolerances? Is this part of their health care?

How important is the food? The ambiance? The service? The speed? The nutrition? The taste? The experience?

What trade offs are they making? Speed for taste? Price for service? Health for convenience?

You can’t be all things to all people. When you try, you become nothing for no one. You recede into mediocrity like all the others.

The first step in Lean is to investigate the customer problem fit.


How can you ask your customers in a way that you get the answer?

Especially considering most people may not even really know, or they may not want to give you the true answer for many reasons.


What do you think?

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