It can be easy to focus on the poorly designed experiences, but every so often something comes along that makes you realise that companies just might be using customer insights to develop innovative new products and services.  Take ‘Secure-a-Park’ for example.

One of the great benefits of being a Consultant is that I get to work with many different clients.  This also means that some days I’m racing in between the City and suburbs to get to meetings – bringing the challenge of city parking in to the equation.   Depending on the time available I might try and find a park on the street – circling the known spots like an eagle circling it’s prey.  As the clock ticks down, eventually I head to a nearby car park that is reasonably priced, or is so close to the meeting that price becomes irrelevant.  Every so often, I drive in only to find they’re full… Aaaghhh!

This is where the ‘Secure a Spot’ offer steps in.  Before you leave your desk you can book and pay for a car park at a discounted rate at the location of your choice. What’s in it for them?  Confirmed occupancy and payment.  You’ve committed to using their car park before you even get to town – no risk of you whizzing in to an on-street spot or in to a competitor.

But the best part is that they’ve solved a massive problem for the customer. Customers drive in to town, they know where they’re going to park, know there’ll be a space, and know how much it will cost.  For families and businesses it also means that parking can be charged to a credit card even if the cardholder won’t be travelling.

If the carpark company have just built this system by luck, they probably just think they’re delivering a carpark or payment system.  I suspect they’ve built it based on observation and deep customer insights, knowing they’re actually delivering certainty – “the simple way to eliminate parking stress”. No risk of missing out on a spot, no risk of being late to the meeting, no shock at the payment machine as you leave.  They’ve won me!

Makes you realise that innovation doesn’t have to be earth-shattering or Apple-esque to make a difference.  Sometimes it’s the small changes built from deep customer insights that make the biggest difference to your customers.

What are your customer insights telling you?