Written by Guest | Last Updated February 24th, 2020Our goal here at BestCompany.com is to provide you with the honest, reliable information you need to find companies you can trust.
For growing businesses, few events are more exciting - or more nerve-racking - than the launch of a new product. Regardless of whether a company has poured weeks or years into the development of a new product, all new launches are at the mercy of real-world testing and customer response. Some launches - like the iPhone - are wildly successful; others - like New Coke - explode on the launchpad; but the majority of brand/line extensions (like the two products recently released by Medical Guardian) simply require a bit of retooling before they're exactly what customers want.
Medical Guardian's Recent Launches
In early 2015, medical alert system provider Medical Guardian released two additional products to their alert system line: the Classic Guardian and the Premium Guardian. Both systems were projected to raise both the industry standard and customer expectations by providing sound state-of-the-art features and services. Neither requires long-term contracts or activation fees, and both are water resistant and designed for quick and easy installation. The Classic Guardian sports an incredible range of 1,300 feet in every direction, while the more expensive Premium Guardian features GPS tracking so help will be available at any location. In other words, these products were a recipe for success in the medical alert system field.
Lessons Learned from Medical Guardian
Unfortunately, Medical Guardian encountered some problems with the release of these two products. And while they've both addressed and corrected these errors in a professional and timely manner, other businesses should take note on the lessons that Medical Guardian had to learn the hard way.
Keep Your Shelves Stocked
One of the main problems associated with these two products was the unexpectedly high demand Medical Guardian's consumer base had for these products. You're probably thinking, how can a high demand for my products be a bad thing? That's every business's dream, right? Well, while nothing is inherently wrong with a high demand, such demand puts added pressure on a business to match the supply accordingly - no supply, no revenue. Such was the case with Medical Guardian. The products themselves were great, but there were not enough of them! As a result, many customers who were assured certain ship times were not able to receive these products for up to an additional three weeks.
While predicting exactly how fast and how much of a new product will actually sell is important, paying close attention to customer response is vital to a growing business. Medical Guardian reacted beautifully, and has since upped its inventory to accommodate the growing demand for its top-notch medical alert systems. Meeting all shipping deadlines is no longer an issue.
Keep Your People in the Loop
Another problem that can arise with the launch of a new product is a lack of training within the business; i.e., the product is certainly ready for release, but key staff members or employees have not been brought up to speed on its features or trained on how to troubleshoot the product in the event of an error. In the customer service industry, this problem can be particularly damaging to a company's reputation. The case was no different for Medical Guardian. Because customer service agents in their service center did not fully understand these two new products, customers were put on hold for significant periods of time, causing frustration for both the customers and Medical Guardian.
You can always trust customers to discover the most minute glitches and flaws in your new product, and this is invaluable information! By listening intently to customer concerns, you can actually make a better product than the one you launched, or even a create better customer service experience. Following the issues that arose from their service center, Medical Guardian has drastically improved its training protocols, passing those benefits off to the customer.
Every business experiences growing pains, but the great businesses become stronger as a result. Take a page from Medical Guardian's playbook: be prepared for unforeseen problems and have a plan to immediately address them. It could mean the difference between an iPhone-esque legacy and a New Coke disaster.