03 Jan Winning on Customer Service
In today’s fast paced world, the difference between good and great can get blurred by the race to compete on price. For the small to emerging business, it is especially difficult facing the more established (larger, bigger) brands who seem to be able to drop prices and/or offer other incentives when margins are already thin. The question then becomes, can you make exceptional customer service delivery your competitive strategy? And, can you win with this as your primary point of differentiation?
I will argue, even yell, YES! People buy from people they like. While this is absolutely true in a B2C environment, even in the B2B world, relationships can and do make a difference. Relationships are the foundation of trust. While very large purchases have a cost component as a high consideration in the ranking for contract award, the ability to deliver product and service inside the contract still matters. The question for you as a business owner should be, what do you want to be known for? And, what are you willing to walk away from? To deliver a low cost product and win those contracts that are about cutting pennies, you will likely have to look at delivering a commodity level of service. However, If you are about winning on service, you can charge a premium price and change your focus to service execution from start to finish.
Not every company or brand can be a premium provider; if you do have the desire and infrastructure to compete at that level, why not be known for creating a service focused product for your customer that is rooted in trust and exceeding their expectations? Willingness pay in the mind of the consumer for experience, confidence, belief in product/service, etc is a premium that is well worth establishing.