CNBC just realised their ‘Disruptor 50’ list for 2015. It’s a list of the top 50 most innovative companies that have entirely disrupted the marketplace in which they operate. As you might expect, companies such as Netflix, Airbnb, and Uber are listed, but there are many others that you may not be aware of – yet.
As I read the CNBC list I started thinking about shared values these companies have and how this affects their relationship with customers. What is it about disruptive companies that mean customers often behave more like fans rather than just users of a service? I noted four key reasons:
- They don’t’ accept the status quo; these companies exist for innovation. They are not interested in keeping services they way they always have been (like most taxi drivers for example). They are interested in making service work better so almost all of them will have something interesting to offer. This culture of innovation makes these companies interesting to customers.
- Service designed around customer; look at a cable TV company, or the telco that provides your broadband. They have usually been around a long time and the heart of the company revolves around the technology solution they deliver. With disruptive companies the customer is clearly at the core of the business. Customer-centricity is more than a buzzword when the entire company is designed around what customers want.
- Love the customer; attitude and culture can be hard to bottle, but just compare the way that small financial technology (fintech) operators compare to your local bank. These companies are not just disrupting the space in which they operate, but they love the customers that are helping them to achieve this. This cultural difference is remarkable and changes the relationship of the company with their customers.
- Easy to reach; how many big companies are really easy to reach? Customer service at some companies appears designed to make it more difficult to get help. Part of the disruptive ethos is also to utilise modern communication technologies so the company builds a relationship with the customers who do get in touch.
These are the four important differences of disruptive companies that I thought of – can you make it five? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.
Photo by OuiShare licensed under Creative Commons.