There’s a lot being made of the fact that Chick-Fil-A seems to be winning the fast food war due to the fact that they have trained their staff to say two simple words:
For many of us, this might seem like a trivial idea. Who even notices that? Who even cares?
I think if we took a step back for a moment and got out of the constant always on, always jumping mindset that defines life in 2017, we would see that something as simple as saying “thank you” can have a huge difference in our businesses, our marketing, and the standing of our brand in our market.
It is a pretty definitive fact that at this point in time, more than stuff, people value experiences over most other things when they are buying stuff.
This concept doesn’t just apply to things like sports, entertainment, or dining. They have always been experiences, even if we didn’t really have that term to throw around.
The idea of buying experiences inhabits everything we do these days. Look at retail, they are trying to survive in a world where consumer spending is historically less powerful than it has normally been in the American economy, where discounters online have devised ways to create a buying experience that doesn’t mimic the in-store buying experience but is good enough to drive sales, and where the cost burden of legacy businesses is strangling their ability to innovate or change.
Look at retail, they are trying to survive in a world where consumer spending is historically less powerful than it has normally been in the American economy, where discounters online have devised ways to create a buying experience that doesn’t mimic the in-store buying experience but is good enough to drive sales, and where the cost burden of legacy businesses is strangling their ability to innovate or change.
In this environment, it can feel almost impossible to create an experience that will draw consumers in.
Not impossible, but very difficult.
Yet the other option of trying to out discount the other guy is a recipe that has been tried in many, many instances and has really only been successful at building up discount brands like Wal-Mart or destroying a business’s brand value.
There seems to be little or no in-between.
That’s precisely the point when you are trapped in this kind of environment, the race to the bottom isn’t going to work. The only hope you have is differentiation.
It is here where you can try to win a battle for your customer’s and your prospect’s attention.
See, sometimes service is the best cure for what ails you.
Think about buying a car. It is incredibly easy to surf the internet and find out manufacturing specifications, pick colors, and decide on your options. It is another situation entirely to actually complete the buying experience at the dealer.
Having leased a new car about 2 years ago, I can say with certainty that the experience in the dealership made it possible for my family to buy a car that was a little bit different and more expensive than what we had budgeted for.
But we were happy with the deal because the sales and service at the dealership exceeded our expectations and lapped the experience at all of the other dealerships that we had visited.
To use myself as an example again, recently I needed to get the gutters on my house replaced.
A simple enough job, but the variance in service was incredible…even if the prices weren’t.
In making a purchase decision based on price alone, the company that had the best service won.
For all of you, the idea of the level of service you provide should be a key concern. Because we live and operate in an environment where the service or skills we provide are pretty easily replicated in a lot of instances.
What isn’t easy to replicate is our service, our dedication, or our ability to build trusting relationships with our customers, colleagues, or the other people we serve.
I think now more than ever before that the way we serve and how we deliver service can make a huge difference in the way people feel and buy from us.
What do you think?