Google has been one of the most successful companies in the US over the last decade. And their success is not random or lucky; they do some things that all companies can learn from. Obviously a lot of Google’s success comes from their size and market recognition, but there are a lot of things that they do right that lets them continue to thrive. Every telcom in the US ought to look at the following traits of Google and think about how you can integrate these ideas into your company.
Keep It Simple. Google has always strived to boil every product they have down to the simplest presentation for customers. It started with the Google search box which was nothing more than an empty square and consumers quickly got it. But they do this with other services as well. In Kansas City they sell very high speed data and two cable TV options. That’s basically their telecom portfolio. I’m not suggesting that we all limit our product line to just two things, but rather than you consider making your products as easy to use as possible for your customers.
Measure Performance. One thing Google always does with any product it launches is to gather as much data as possible about how the product performs. They wants to know why and how people use a product. They want to know what people like and don’t like about it. In order to emulate this trait a company has to go beyond simple customer satisfaction surveys and talk to customers in detail about how they perceive your product and your company. If a company as large as Google can know how their customers are using their products it ought to be possible for companies in smaller markets to this even better.
Innovation. Google is never satisfied with any product and they always are poking and prodding and seeing if they can make things better. Part of this is due to the last item above where Google takes customer feedback into consideration. But if you are going to copy Google you are going to want to always be kicking the tires on what you are doing so that your products don’t become stale and inflexible.
Empowers Employees. Probably the one single trait that Google has done is to empower employees to bring them new ideas. They take this to a larger extreme than many companies can afford and they give employees the opportunity to spent 20% of their time exploring projects that are outside their main focus. Employees are not required to do this but many of them take advantage of this and have been the driver behind many of the new Google products. Every company has the ability to empower your employees to make and implement changes that can make the company better.
Willingness to Admit Failure. Google does one thing that many companies are afraid to do. Google is ruthless about admitting failure and they ruthlessly eliminate products that are not profitable. Without slipping into too much of an adage, companies need to know when to fold ‘em.
Satisfy Customers. Google is really good at satisfying customers. They elicit feedback and they really listen to what their customers tell them. Every company can learn this simple lesson – give your customers what they want and you will thrive.