When What’s New Isn’t Necessarily What’s Right


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robotsSometimes the hard truth is the old way still works. But what’s new is so shiny! So exciting! So different!

I love new. I love love LOVE innovation. I get so excited about what’s next. And I love when my clients do, too. Innovation and staying ahead is absolutely essential to a superior customer experience.

But if it’s not broken, let’s try to not to fix it. Remember the Gap logo fiasco? It was a fiasco because the old logo was working just fine, thankyouverymuch.

Or, as a different take, consider the Apple store. In a blog on the Harvard Business Review today, Saul Kaplan discussed how Steve Jobs set up a pilot store near the Apple campus to get the whole thing right. After exploring there, they were able to tweak and dramatically change the design and layout to really provide the greatest experience. This was true innovation.

But the real-world prototype and other early stores that Apple was able to iterate toward a winning customer experience ultimately became Apple’s hallmark. from Harvard Business Review blog by Saul Kaplan

Now, if you’ve been in any Apple store in the last several years, has much changed? Not really. The products have changed, but the actual layout hasn’t really. The staff may have changed but their approach to sales and support haven’t really. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

What is working right now for your customers? What do they love? What do you love about your experience? Is it unique to your brand? What is not worth changing?

Photo credit: ricardodiaz11 via Creative Commons license

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeannie Walters, CCXP
Jeannie Walters is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a globally recognized speaker, a LinkedIn Learning and Lynda.com instructor, and a Tedx speaker. She’s a very active writer and blogger, contributing to leading publications from Forbes to Pearson college textbooks. Her mission is “To Create Fewer Ruined Days for Customers.”


  1. Good point about the retail shopping experience. Would be disorienting if Apple changed it frequently.

    Online, I don’t think Amazon shoppers would like the interface to be updated constantly, either. I think it’s one of the issues that has frustrated Facebook users. The company wants to constantly innovate, but perhaps a bit out of the comfort zone of its users.

    All that said, at some point if Apple doesn’t update its store design, it will move from being comfortable to tired and dated.

  2. Thanks, Bob. I think Facebook is an interesting example. I believe part of that frustration is customers not feeling heard when changes are made. I agree retail stores must innovate, too, but only on parts of the experience that actually matter. That’s what Apple does so well!


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