Customers don’t just buy a product — they switch from something else. And customers don’t just leave a product — they switch to something else.
It’s in these switching moments that the deepest customer insights can be found.
On the 12th of April, a group of 24 people will attend a unique, hands-on, full-day workshop to learn about “The Switch”.
Most businesses don’t know the real reasons why people switch to — or from — their products. We’ll teach you how to find out.
The workshop will be at the 37signals office in Chicago. The cost to attend is $1000. The workshop will be led by 37signals and The Rewired Group.
- You’ll participate in live customer interviews.
- You’ll learn new techniques for unearthing the deep insights that most companies never bother to dig up.
- You’ll understand why people switch from one product to another and how you can increase the odds that the switch goes your way.
- And you’ll be able to put everything you learned to immediate use.
There’s only one simple requirement: You’ll be asked to bring something with you. It won’t be a big deal. Details will be provided one week before the workshop.
Spots are limited. Only 24 people will be able to attend and participate. Want to be one of the 24? Register now.
Note: All previous workshops have sold out well before the event, so don’t delay if you want a spot.
Signal vs. Noise is a founding member of The Deck advertising network
Find more opportunities on the 37signals Job Board.
“For the modern audience, the fluidity of objects in Robert Lazzarini’s body of work, for example, immediately registers instead as having been run through the computer and messed around with. As a nod to this sea change in perception, Italian designer Ferruccio Laviani has created the brilliantly disorienting Good Vibrations storage unit for Fratelli Boffi.” Read the full article.
It’s untoward to bash someone publicly. I’ve done it before and I always end up feeling horrible about it later. I’ve found that the longer it takes you to feel bad about it, the more work you have left to do on yourself. I’ve worked hard to stop doing it, and I don’t do it anymore.
Of course this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have strong opinions, or withhold public disagreement on a specific decision. Every decision demands dissent. But bashing isn’t disagreeing. It’s bashing. Bashing is about tone (overly aggressive or passive aggressive), it’s about time (often tied to a knee-jerk reaction), it’s about outcome (if the point is just to make yourself feel good, then you’re just talking out loud to yourself). It often signals a lack of information (on your part).
You don’t change someone’s mind by telling them they’re an idiot. When’s the last time someone changed your mind that way?
A good trick that helped me cool myself down a couple years back was to institute a personal “1:1 bash ratio”. I didn’t always hold myself to it, but basically it went like this… Before every external bash, I had to bash myself first. If I’m going to bitch about someone else’s work, what about my work? If I have a problem with how someone runs their company, how about how I run mine? If I’m going to complain loudly about someone else’s point of view, what about mine? Are there any flaws in my way of thinking? There must be, so what are they? What am I getting completely wrong?
This isn’t a new idea, of course. “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” – that’s been around forever. But what I like about the 1:1 ratio is that it’s not saying you shouldn’t strongly criticize – it’s saying that you owe yourself one before you dish one out to someone else. Avoiding a harsh criticism doesn’t help you learn like harshly criticizing yourself helps you learn. And eventually it helps you realize how often you’re breathing fire. Ultimately you may not want to do it anymore.
Take a tour to see why others use Basecamp every day.
I love Fantastical but missed having a quick way to find out today’s date, a feature the native iOS calendar app provides with a special app icon that changes each day. To work around this Fantastical offers a clever hack: an option to display the current date as a badge on the app icon.
Thirty-six people work at 37signals. Only six of us don’t have iPhones. Out of the six of us, three have Androids. I just recently became one of the Android minority.
I’ve been a die-hard “Apple evangelist” for over twenty years — first an avid Mac user, then an early adopter of both iPod and iPhone. In the 90s, when everyone I knew used Windows, I tried to switch them to Mac. In the 2000s, when everyone had Creative-brand MP3 players, I tried to switch them to iPod and iTunes. A few months ago I switched from iPhone to Android. Now the running joke is that I’ve become an Android evangelist.
4 Specific Jobs Android Does Better
In all seriousness I’m surprised I like Android as much as I do. I don’t want this to be yet another tech-blog “Why I switched to Android” essay. There are a bunch of those online already. This is not a manifesto about the “openness” of Android. This isn’t a “these are the apps I installed to approximate my old iPhone” article either. Instead, this is my personal experience with both iPhone and Android. I’ll focus on 4 specific jobs I believe Android is better at than my old iPhone: 1. Audio on-the-go.
I know what you’re thinking: iPhone does this perfectly well. And it does, to a point. With the iPhone, I had problems with Bluetooth streaming. While driving I’d play something from my iTunes library via Bluetooth. The music would stream from the iPhone to the car stereo. Absolute magic. Sometimes I’d switch to Spotify for the Radio feature. Again, awesome. Exiting and entering the car then reconnecting via Bluetooth, however, would reveal a quirk. iPhone always defaulted to the iTunes library. It didn’t matter if I was listening to Spotify when I left the car. Once I got back in the car and the Bluetooth connection was established, bam iTunes. Thanks iPhone, I don’t want iTunes now actually. I want Spotify.
I’m also an iTunes Match customer. iTunes Match is Apple’s “cloud music” offering. That means the music doesn’t have to physically be on the iPhone. When you play a song it will stream from the iTunes Match “cloud”. The problem with this is sometimes iTunes Match flakes out. In my case it would flake out quite a bit. Sometimes it would take a while to authenticate. Sometimes it would hang on a song because of buffering.
This wasn’t a huge annoyance for me though. Twenty years of using Macs conditioned me to think, “well, that’s the Apple way.” It’s such a small price to pay for such a user-friendly device. Besides, why does this annoy me? I should be grateful. This is incredible technology. Apple is probably working on a fix with iOS 7. It’s not a big deal.
Then I switched to Android.
When I first connected Android to the car Bluetooth I thought, “wow, that was 5 minutes faster than the iPhone.” Most importantly, Android appreciates that I use different apps for listening to music. When I listen to Spotify, exit and enter the car and reconnect via Bluetooth, Android still serves up Spotify.
Google’s cloud music offering also seems to work better than iTunes Match. There’s less start-up lag. Google will even allow you to add up to 20,000 songs from your iTunes library for free. For example, I pre-ordered the new David Bowie album exclusive to iTunes a few months ago. It was downloaded this morning on iTunes. In less than a minute I’m listening to it on Android. Between Google Music and Spotify I’m pretty well covered.
What started as a small annoyance on the iPhone became an eye-opener on Android. Since the introduction of the iPod and iTunes, I saw Apple as a leader in the world of digital music. While my iPhone music problems were minor, I had assumed there simply was no better way other than the one Apple had designed. Yet here was Android doing it just a little bit better. Maybe Apple didn’t have it figured out after all.
In our industry, you’ll often hear people say things like “if someone can’t figure it out in 10 seconds then they’re gone.” Or “I checked out the site and I couldn’t figure out what they did so I left. Terrible design.” Or “if it takes more than a couple sentences to explain it then it’s not simple enough.” Or “too much to read!” Or “there are too many fields on this form!” Or “there are too many steps in this process.”
I’ve said some of these things in the past, so I understand the knee-jerk impulse that lead to these sorts of reactions.
However, something’s usually missing from these assessments of the situation: The actual customer’s motivation. How motivated is the customer to solve their problem? What are they here for?
If you’re just evaluating something purely on a design-principles basis, then it’s easy to be binary about it. Good, bad. Too slow, not clear enough, confusing, whatever.
But it’s lazy to evaluate things that way – and trust me, I know, I’ve been lazy about it in the past. I’ve just recently come to remember that you have to factor in motivation.
How motivated is the customer? If your motivation is to evaluate a design, how can you accurately comment on whether or not it’s good or bad unless you understand the customer’s motivation? Their motivation isn’t always to get in and get out as fast as possible.
Customers come to learn something, research something, consider something, buy something. If they are motivated, they may not mind spending five minutes reading. They want to read, they want to know. They’re OK investing their time to find something out if they really care about the answer.
For example, while a longer form – one that a designer might cringe at – might lead to fewer trial signups, it might also lead to higher-quality, more qualified leads. A longer form could weed out the people who are just poking around from the people who are really motivated to buy.
Is clearer better? Yes. Is brevity better? Not always. Is speed important? It depends. How much detail is required? Just enough? Should you make it easier for people to get better answers sooner? Yes. But that doesn’t mean every question demands a 10 second answer and that doesn’t mean every form needs to be three fields or less.
The hardcover version of REMOTE: Office Not Required, our upcoming book on making remote working work for employers and employees, is now available for pre-order from these top online booksellers:
- “REMOTE: Office Not Required” at Amazon.com
- “REMOTE: Office Not Required” at Barnes & Noble
- “REMOTE: Office Not Required” at 800-CEO-READ
The book is planned for release on October 29th, 2013. eBook versions (Kindle, Nook, iBook, etc.) will be available for pre-order shortly, too. It’s up to the book stores to decide when these go live.
If you want to know more about some of the topics covered in REMOTE, here’s a recent interview I did with Quartz.