I asked someone to give me a referral for a contractor to do some work at my house. He gave me two names and said “They’re just contractors though. They all do the same thing.”
But then I asked someone else the same question, and he said, “You want to call X, and here’s why…” He gave me the name of a local company and he was absolutely right. I’ve since referred them to countless others.
In business, the last thing you want to be referred to as “just another contractor.” (Replace contractor for whatever you would like)
One of the key lessons in my second book The Customer Loyalty Loop is that you have to separate yourself from the crowd with the way you conduct business from the point of the first contact, through the second sale, and until the end of the relationship.
Since we’ve been living through multiple renovations in our old home over the past eight months I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of predetermined notions and perceptions of contractors and tradespeople in general. But this applies to all types of different businesses.
This in turn often dictates how customers treat those businesses, and how those businesses treat their customers.
Consider the classic stereotypical view of the car salesman. They often are often viewed as “a typical car salesman” until he or she proves the customer otherwise.
What makes someone stand out is they take very specific steps to differentiate themselves from the crowd.
At the end of The Customer Loyalty Loop, I told the story of a guy doing some work on our previous house who did everything right.
He showed up when he said he would show up.
He returned calls promptly when I left a voicemail.
He followed up on our work to ensure we were happy.
He asked for a testimonial and asked us to refer others to him.
So here we are, five months into the pandemic.
What’s different with your business now? What has changed? How are you better now than you were five months ago? What have you learned? Where will you go from here?
Banks still say they provide the greatest customer service ever. Nearly every business still says they provided an unparalleled experience and world-class service..
But people don’t care what you say. They only care what you do and what they see, feel, experience, touch, taste, etc.
We now have entire cities, states, and countries being judged by their response to the pandemic.
Not pointing fingers or naming names, but you can't just tell people how great you are.
People judge places (and businesses) by what they see and witness with their own eyes.
Ford spent a gazillion dollars on the slogan Quality is Job 1… Let’s hope they saved it for the new Bronco!
Last week I called a company that said my call was important to them.
A recorded message told me that for 35 years they had provided world-class service to customers across the globe.
Well, I waited 35 minutes (which felt like 35 years) and was then told I needed to email more information. I did, and they have to respond. That was over a week ago.
Instead of using the pandemic to pivot to an entirely new business model, try the following:
Look at where you can breathe new life into promises made.
Look at where you can differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Want to come out of the pandemic ahead of everyone else?
Do whatever it takes to prove you're not "just another (insert title here)!”