I find this article intriguing even though I am the one writing it and I hope you’ll find it interesting too. I came across the Telephone & Loud Speaker business model last night when I was doing some research on Uber and their success strategy and I actually intended to create content around that but this got me more excited.
This “Telephone and Loud Speaker” model explanation can be attributed to Graham Brown, I found the explanation on his slide on Slideshare and then went to his website for further understanding. Before I actually dive into talking more about both business models, please take a peek at the gallery below to get a slight understanding of the difference between both models and companies in each lane.
The Loud Speaker Business: This is the model used by businesses in the industrial economy, sadly some businesses still make use of this model in the current information economy. What the business does is try to have a one-way conversation with their customers hence the name “Loud Speaker” model. There is no real conversation between the business and the customer they serve. The customer listens to what the business has to say and has no input in the dialogue. Examples of where this one-way ( a.k.a Loud Speaker model ) is still in use is in billboards, flyers, magazine ads, tv ads, radio ads, basically all the”old media” we are aware of.
Smart business owners and businesses are beginning to notice the death of old media and are opting in for the new media which puts more emphasis on business-customer collaboration. Giving the customer a say, giving them ownership of the business or offering. In the Loud Speaker model, as a customer or end-user, you just listen or read what the business has to say, you have no say in the offering, you either opt in or you don’t unlike its counterpart – The Telephone Model.
The Telephone Model: This one needs no introduction. It is the model used by smart entrepreneurs to start and run some of the biggest companies around. It’s customer-centric in it’s offering. The customer is the main key in the business. Their pain-points are noticed and then there is room for them to have a conversation with the business on what the best way of servicing their needs are. The telephone business model follows a two-way conversation just like the concept behind the telephone.
Let’s face it, we humans want to talk! Brands that win are the ones who have found a way to let their customers do what they love doing – talk, Interact and this leads to co-creation. Firms like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube just to mention a few are winning as companies because they provide a platform for people to have two way conversations, hence why they are winning and why those platforms are considered the “new media” and are becoming the best way to interact with customers and even attract them. The modern customer doesn’t want to be told “what is” anymore, they are learned, they want to have conversations with businesses and brands like they do with their loved ones.
I believe the moral of the story is to create a more customer-centric business (the Telephone Model ) where the customer is king in the business and there is room for the customer to have conversations with the brand and not adopting the old ways of just telling customer “what is” without room for the customer to join the conversation ( the Loud Speaker Model ).
Get on social media, start conversations, join conversations. On your website, have feedback forms to collect feedback on what customers think of the experience on your website. Be the business that is always willing and happy to hear what the customer they are providing a product/service to, has to say. I know, its easier said than done, as a business owner, I still struggle with this from time to time, but you can start taking little steps towards becoming a telephone model kinda company today!
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