Monday, September 24, 2007

Best-Ever Entrepreneurship Quotes: Week 51

Here is your motivational Quote of the Week, personally selected to get your week off to a thoughtful start.

"We were listening, but we weren't hearing what they were saying."
Justin Belobaba, CEO, Medical Telecom Corp., Toronto: the No. 1 company on PROFIT Magazine’s 2007 Hot 50: Canada’s Emerging Growth Companies

Here’s the backstory: MTC was founded in 2003 to help doctors bill patients for uninsured services. But the first two years were rocky – physicians just weren't using the complex telephone system MTC created. What these uber-busy customers wanted was a system that required virtually no effort on their part.

Writer Jim McElgunn quotes Belobaba as saying, "We were listening, but we weren't hearing what they were saying… They were asking for features and we would deliver them, but performance wouldn't change. What they were really telling us was, 'This doesn't work for me'."

MTC traded in its complex system for a much simpler fax-based service that generated new sales and rave reviews.

Are you listening to your customers? And are you really hearing what they are trying to tell you?

For the full story on MTC, click here.

1 comment:

Jacki Hollywood Brown said...

Are you listening to what your customers AREN'T saying?
I had a client (an accountant) who was always late with paying bills at home. After setting up 2 different systems for managing incoming and outgoing mail and having them both not work for the client, the client said to me, "I just want the bills to be paid on time". NOTE: The client didn't say, "I need a way to pay MY bills on time."

I told the client to spend a half day at the bank and with the utility companies setting up a direct payment system with equalized billing. The client then received monthly statements and the money was directly withdrawn from the client's bank account. This client has gone one step further to reduce clutter and has all the statements e-mailed.

Always listen to what the customer says AND (as I learned) what they don't say.