He soon realized that the difference was rooted in different cultures. While North American customers – and mostly European customers as well – would have preferred an interface that they could operate according to a logic similar to their smartphone. The Japanese, living in the world of calligraphic handwriting, considered the solution stylish and handy, so they preferred it to a rough, casual touch screen. They patiently adapted to the technology that was an emotional and stylistic plus for them, while Western shoppers sought instant success and usability.
Hall knew right away that he needed data, and a lot of it. He conducted more than 2,000 hours of personal customer interviews and an in-house survey, but most of the opinions were positive. However, the young professional suspected that this was due, at least in part, to the fact that his staff did not want to offend his feelings with criticism. Therefore, he entrusted the survey to the care of an outside agency and extended it to the whole world – and criticisms began to sharpen.
Originally, it only received permission from Japanese top management to redesign the interface for models destined for the North American market, but after that, it saw customers around the world waiting for a new solution. But Lexus had already begun developing a new generation of Touch Pad years earlier; decision makers also finalized the hardware and software.
The “conspiracy” was accompanied by Steve Basra, the group’s vice president of connectivity technologies, who knew that change required to convince those responsible for different technology and connectivity disciplines at the same time, extremely quickly and efficiently. That’s why he put together a presentation and knocked on Jim Lentz, the North American CEO of the Toyota Group. The boss took a single look at the document, then convened the senior management committee and revealed the problem to them. “Is there anyone who doesn’t think we should follow that direction?” He asked, and from the silence Hall and Basra already knew they had a win.
Making and accepting a decision at this level would normally take years. We managed to win the support of decision makers in a week
The two experts recall.
Moreover, this support was not just a matter of principle: the company provided significant financial resources for development, they began to redeploy the people needed to carry out the task, and Hall practically moved to Japan to keep in touch with experts there.
It would be a mistake, of course, to think that the process was the only hilarious success story. Not everyone supported the change, and it certainly happened that they had to sit down with the same team up to twenty times to present their arguments over and over again. Others might have given up, but Basra and Hall only became more and more enthusiastic at the sight of the challenge. “We have recognized that we do not necessarily owe the company loyalty and commitment, but to current and future customers. The company’s internal struggles do not belong to the customers. It is our job to fight the battles that serve their interests, ”they set out.
It soon became clear how right Hall was about the correctness of the solution. Lexus ’next-generation infotainment interface will hold its world premiere on board the newly unveiled Lexus NX in the fourth quarter of 2021. At the same time, Toyota’s own multimedia system will be introduced, and over time, the technology will appear in all types of both brands – thanks to the unwavering determination of Steve Basra and Daniel Hall.
Source: Vezess by www.vezess.hu.
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