Your Business is a Black Box
No matter what size your business . .
Profits result from what it creates that is outside of your business. That's where your customers are and where they enjoy the benefits of what you offer.
Inside the black box, invisible to customers, is only effort and expense.
Profits Outside/ Expense Inside. Where should your focus be?
So, for the purpose of this thought experiment, let's keep the focus outside by imagining your business is a black box . . . with all that matters being outside of it.
Customers Pull for What They Want: Pullfillment
The word "pull" is a clean label for the actions people take to get what they want from companies. We can take this another step by being aware that customers "pull" from companies in order to create the desired Pullfillment: the experience of using the product or service.
The word "demand" has been used in this context but it has also been used to describe the mere want for something. That want might be a whim that falls far short of inspiring the action necessary to get it. It is only when that desire turns into action - in particular the willing giving of money, time, and other resources - that it becomes real enough to deserve being called "pull".
So pull is action to satisfy demand for a product or service. Even if a company has a sales force it sends out to push for new business, it will only get the new business if they can get prospective customers to pull in response.
Also, pullfillment could be said to be another word for “customer experience”, AKA, the acronym “CX”. But we call it pullfillment instead to usefully relate the customer experience directly to the customer pull that initiated it to better utilize these dynamics for higher level success.
With that in mind, let's explore a deeper understanding of pull and the resulting pullfillment. Check out this graphic:
This image shows the pull-to-pullfillment conversion engine "black box" that inputs pull and outputs pullfillment. A good black box makes a lot of pullfillment with relatively little pull. An inefficient black box needs a lot of pull to create relatively little pullfillment.
Consider it a simple vending machine. It's like customers are putting money, time and trouble into that vending machine like coins to get, say, a cold Diet Coke: the intended pullfillment. They might get a regular coke instead. Or it might be lukewarm instead of cold as expected. Or the machine could just eat their quarters and not give them back. Ever have that happen? Infuriating, isn't it?
There's the anticipated, expected, and/or desired pullfillment and then there's the actual pullfillment. When they are not the same thing, it leaves a pullfillment gap.
Click here for more on the pullfillment gap concept. Understanding and using the pullfillment gap can transform both marketing results and customer experience.