It’s a Saturday afternoon and I pop into the garage to grab something -well, I try to go into the garage. The doorknob won’t open. Apparently some part of the latch is broken and it will not open. I’m “harry homeowner” and am inclined to do repairs myself, so I took the knob apart to get the door open.
This was not on my list of things to do today, and I have the following goals:
- Fix the door as fast as possible
- Spend as little money as possible
- Have as few hassles as possible
To accomplish my goals I need a replacement part. Of course, the convenient big box store doesn’t sell the brand knob that I have, and it doesn’t sell parts of doorknob sets, so I have to buy a whole replacement set. RATS! This means that I’m going to have to have a different key for that door than for my front and back doors – or I have to hire a locksmith. More hassles.
What do I know about doorknobs? There are a number of products available from Schlage, Defiant and Kwikset. They look similar in terms of features and costs. How can I decide which knob helps me achieve my goals?
I narrowed down my choices to one of two doorknobs when I saw a claim I found hard to believe. I could re-key that knob myself – at home? If that was true, I could skip the key hassle. How much would that cost me? As it turns out, that knob is about the same price as the other. Would my existing key (from a different manufacturer) fit in the new lock? It did! They had me sold. I picked it up and headed home.
Of course I didn’t read all of the directions before I started the installation. If I did I’d have to turn in my “man card.” Overall the installation was smooth until I realized that the new striker was too short! I was temporarily frustrated until I noticed that there was an adjustment lever to address that issue.
I got the knob installed in the door, and reviewed the “rey-key” instructions. I was able to re-key the knob quickly, and it worked perfectly the first time!
My installation was complete in less than 30 minutes! SWEET!
What four lessons can a doorknob teach you about Product Management?
Here’s what Kwikset did to make sure I’d love their product:
- They understood their customer. They knew my needs as “Harry homeowner” and provided information on the outside of the box and in the instructions
- They made it easy to use their product. They understood I wouldn’t read the directions unless I couldn’t make it work on my own
- They engineered compatibility with standards/other brands – so I didn’t have an “oddball key” for one door.
- They sold me on the outside of the box with “You can do this” – making it easy for me to get that job out of my way with the fewest hassles.
Nicely done Kwikset.
Understanding your customers – really knowing their motivations and needs – is a key part of Raising Your Game.