Over the past several weeks millions of people have caught Pokémon fever. In cities across the world people have been trekking out to hunt down Pidgeys, Ponytas and Pikachu. It’s a global phenomenon rarely seen in pop culture.
The launch was wildly successful and it even surprised the developer of the game, Niantic. Players in the early weeks suffered through routine server downtime and crashes, and unexpected bugs that left the wildly popular game unplayable. However, instead of communicating openly with players and making changes to improve the gaming experience, the developer Niantic rolled out new updates that simply removed features that hadn’t worked well and cut off others that were widely used.
pokemongoThere are a few lessons we can learn from the Pokémon Go rollout. First is the need to understand what your customers actually want and need. We need to ask and listen to their feedback, both positive and negative. Don’t assume that you know what their expectations are. This feedback needs to go beyond manufacturer’s surveys and online reviews. Managers should engage with customers daily to get immediate first hand input. Don’t be like the Pokemon GO leadership team and anger a huge number of your most loyal patrons by failing to communicate with the customer base. Changes that are made should be things that the consumers will actually like.
The second is that the change within the dealership should be seamless from the customer’s perspective. It should be that they come in one day and things are better. The goal should be zero customer discomfort. When Pokémon Go’s updates came out, the internet exploded with angry articles disparaging the developer for the changes. They focused on what was best for them as a company, not what was best for their customers. Only time will tell if that approach will allow them continued success over the coming months.
Remember that when making changes, do so only after listening to input from your customers and ensure it is as seamless as possible. Change may be hard, but it shouldn’t be hard on the customer.
Written by Adam Wright