Are You Focusing On The Right Problem? | Business Productivity

Are You Focusing On The Right Problem?

13th June 23

Last month Simon visited Nottingham University to speak to postgraduate students and business leaders about ReThink and how to improve productivity in the workplace.

Are You Focusing On The Right Problem? | Business Productivity

Many topics were raised during the presentation, so we have created a blog series covering what was discussed. Today, we’re looking at the milkshake story.

When looking to make an improvement in your business, are you sure you’re always focusing on the right problem?

Sometimes an outsider’s perspective can provide a whole new insight that you never even considered. Let’s take a look at an example.

A milkshake story

A fast food restaurant wanted to increase their milkshake sales. To discover how, they hired researchers to test all aspects of the product, including the temperature, viscosity and sweetness. By creating the perfect milkshake, the restaurant believed sales would soar.

But it soon became clear that this wasn’t happening. 

The researchers decided to look at things from a different angle. Instead of focusing on the product, they turned their attention to the customer. After a day’s worth of observation, they concluded that:

Are You Focusing On The Right Problem? | Business Productivity
  • A significantly large number of milkshakes were purchased before 8am
  • Those buying milkshakes were almost always alone
  • The milkshake was often the only item purchased in their order
  • More often than not, the milkshake was a take-out order

After observing the same pattern of behaviour the next day, the researchers began speaking to the customers directly, asking why they purchased a milkshake.

They discovered that customers were buying milkshakes to make their morning commutes more interesting. The temperature, viscosity and sweetness actually had nothing to do with it.

Armed with this information, smaller changes were made to help meet the customers’ needs. 

  • The milkshake recipe was tweaked in order for the product to last longer (covering the customer’s commute to work)
  • Small pieces of fruit were added to certain milkshakes – this helped “shake up” the consumption experience, making things more interesting for the customer
  • A self-service dispensing machine was set up inside the restaurant – separate from the usual retail counter – enabling customers to order, pay for and obtain a milkshake themselves, by-passing the regular food queue to ensure they were not late for work

Take a step back

After taking a look at the situation as a whole, it turns out that the key to increasing sales had nothing to do with the product itself, but with the customer’s experience. 

Taking a step back and looking at the problem as a whole can make a huge difference. When reviewing productivity, a business consultant can provide a detailed roadmap of exactly where improvements could be made.

At ReThink, we help clients across many sectors and markets understand more about their operation, identifying opportunities to grow sales and align their operating model to better meet their goals. Our range of services are designed to help you improve business efficiency, gain critical insights and exploit new opportunities.

Make sure you’re focusing on the right problem. Give our business improvement consultants a call today.