Open 24 Hours

What do you want? is the wrong question.

Customers speak in the language of problems.
Businesses speak in the language of solutions.

When Netflix asked customers what they wanted, the customers said more new releases. So Netflix bought more. Then they looked at the data.

Engineers compared churn rates for customers who got new movies quickly with those who didn’t and the results were indistinguishable.

What customers wanted were faster movies. If customers got a movie within a few days of returning the previous they were less likely to churn out than customers who had to wait longer. Bingo. Netflix’s solution wasn’t more new releases, it was shorter shipping times.

Good for Netflix – but what about us? What about businesses that don’t have data engineers?

“From 1984 to about 1987, I proselytized about the wisdom of staying open for 24 hours,” Paul Orfalea writes in Copy This. Orfalea was a unique manager.

Rather than spending time at the office, Orfalea was on the road talking to Kinko’s partners, customers, and anyone who found something that worked.

“I’d met a convenience store owner who found his overall sales jumped 50 percent when he decided to stay open for 24 hours. At first, the increase seemed like a mystery. His foot traffic wasn’t great during the overnight hours. But his customers liked knowing they could patronize his stores any time day or night. They never had to worry when he was open or closed.”

Bingo.

Kinko’s business wasn’t selling copies – it was managing emotions. Customers needed help. Kinko’s helped them get jobs, celebrate moments, or create the brochure that needed done yesterday. Being open 24 hours helped.

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