Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Heroic Service: The Ultimate Differentiator

In business, you must differentiate or die.

To succeed, your product or service must stand out in a crowded marketplace. Otherwise, you go unnoticed and starve.

How do some of the most successful companies differentiate?

Think of Zappos. They sell a commodity -- shoes. So it's not their product that's special. And their prices aren't low -- you'd pay less at Wal-Mart.

What differentiates Zappos? The same thing that differentiates Nordstrom, The Ritz Carlton, L.L. Bean, and many other successful companies -- service.

Specifically, heroic service that prompts repeat and referral sales.

Few people talk about the shoes from Zappos or the ties at Nordstrom. But everyone talks about the service.

Small business example: my printer -- Jim Beckman, at Full Throttle Print & Imaging in Chanhassen, MN -- got a panicky call for an order of business cards at 7:00 on a Friday night ... and he delivered it to the client's home the next morning, Saturday.

That's heroic service. And it gets people talking.

Client and others -- like me -- have told that story again and again, like the stories of the FedEx employee who chartered a plane to deliver a wedding dress, or the Nordstrom employee who refunded a set of snow tires (which Nordstrom doesn't sell).

If you must differentiate or die, and you don't have the best products/services or the lowest prices, that leaves service at the one area where you can gain a competitive edge.

You can start today, too, by delivering service that delights and surprises clients.

Service may be the fastest and most profitable way for you to differentiate. It sure beats the alternative.

You'll find more ideas like these in my Free Report, Guaranteed Marketing.

No comments:

Post a Comment