The Art of Differentiation – It’s the little things that matter
There’s a lot of text and articles out there about differentiation, so you have to differentiate yourself from your competitors to be successful. While I absolutely agree with this commentary, it is getting harder to do so.
Having a superior service or superior product is an obvious one but that, again, with today’s environment, social media and the way products are talked about so easily through the internet, having a different product or service is incredibly harder to achieve.
How do you, differentiate yourself from your competitors?
For example how do we differentiate ourselves from other Brisbane accountants or now with the rise of cloud accounting, accountants Australia wide?
I firmly believe it’s the little things that matter and I’ll explain why.
Building Business Relationships in Service Based Industries
In a service-based industry, in my opinion business is all about relationships. What that means is that you have to have a personal touch to run that relationship, have that customer realize that you do care about the outcomes. If you don’t, well then perhaps you shouldn’t be in that line of business, because that’s obviously not aligning to your purpose.
What are some examples of this? Well, recently I’ve purchased a Caravan, and when I walked in to do the handover with the supplier, there was a board, that greeted us when we walked in that stated: “Welcome to the Robert’s family and congratulations.”
That immediately stayed in my mind. It probably took them five minutes to do, if that. But it’s something that I remember. Furthermore, everything that I asked for was done and not only was it done but there were suggestions made about potential other things I could do based on what places I wanted to visit with the Caravan and its use as a family van.
Think Outside The Box With Your Business Differentiation
But differentiation could be making sure that the client realises that you do take notice of what they’re saying and you are listening, you’re just not going through some spiel or proven formula to get a sale.
That might mean making sure that you do know those personal things about the customer; kids names, what’s going on with their lives, what their interests are, so when you have a conversation with them, you can say, “yes, and last time we spoke you were going to play a golf tournament, how did that go?”
Again, it just shows that you are invested in that relationship. It could be as simple as noting down their coffee preferences, so when they walk in the office, the receptionist can say, ‘so, today would you like the same slim skinny latte that you had last time?”
These are all things that show the client matters to you as a business. And it’s not a huge change, it’s not expensive. Yes, its the time, but the impact that you have from those simple little things is what’s going to give them something to talk about with their colleagues and remember the experience.
You don’t have to make radical changes to business to achieve fast results. You generally just tweak a few different drivers in your business that will deliver a great result.
The little things, like that board, mean that I will talk to people about that as I am in this blog article now, and that will only serve to further their reputation. The five minutes’ worth of time it took to complete the writing on that board will result in no extra revenue at that time, but the flow on effects from that type of behavior is incredibly high.
I’d encourage you to think about little things that you can do to make your clients and customers realise that they are important to your business.
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