As the weekend approaches, I find myself thinking about what Netflix selections might be awaiting me in my mailbox. And then I start thinking about 10 years ago when I had to drive to a Blockbuster, go in, rent a video, and then make the return trip before late fees started accumulating. Remember those days?
I bet Blockbuster remembers them a little more fondly than we do. In my opinion, Blockbuster missed one of the biggest business opportunities of the late 20th century. They became arrogant because they were the only game in town. As the Internet gathered steam, instead of looking ahead to an online video rental business segment, they remained confident that their in-store model was the only one that would work. They missed the opportunity because they were bound by their existing service model. They were so confident in its longevity that they forgot to anticipate what their increasingly web-savvy consumers would want.
Industries that fear change and feel bound by their existing service models are doomed to fail. Evolution is at the heart of business; if you are unwilling or unable to reinvent your services to meet or, better yet, anticipate the ever-changing demands of your customers, you better believe a competitor will.
Stay ahead of the game by identifying your forward-thinking customers and continually trying to outpace their needs with your service offerings. Look at changing service models as opportunities, not challenges. You’ll be amazed at how this change of perspective will inspire creative ideas. Freeing your mind may be the key to providing better service.
I want to hear from you! Respond to one, all or none of the questions below. I just want to hear your thoughts!
- Do you agree with me? Do you think being bound by current service models or offerings predicts failure?
- Do you disagree? In what industry do you think it might make sense to keep service offerings the same?
- Why do you think Blockbuster missed the online video/DVD rental model opportunity?
- Are there any companies that adapt to consumer needs very well? Any that don’t?