Marketing is all about differentiation. What can you do to stand out from the competition? There are many ways to do this. Some use low prices. Some use outstanding products. Others have amazing distribution competencies.
But in this increasingly digital, automated world we live in, customer service seems to be slipping. Consumers demand lower prices, and service tends to suffer as companies attempt to satisfy the price conscious consumer.
However, there is still room in this business environment for service. Particularly, outstanding service. The price war results in a sort of death spiral for margins. Yet companies who provide amazing service can stand out from their competition in a positive way, regardless of their relative price.
One area in which service can stand out is through providing a very personal touch. There are many activities that fall into this category, but the one I want to focus on is gratitude. Gratitude is a concept that seems to be overlooked. This concept is about more than just a simple ‘thank you.’ Sure, a simple thank you is nice, but most companies implore their employees to say this after a transaction. The concept of gratitude has permeated the business world, as evidenced by articles in well-known outlets such as Forbes and Inc.
If gratitude is so important, and many companies already do some version of it, how can you set yourself apart? It’s by expressing gratitude in a way that others don’t.
Recently, on a family vacation, we had a rock or something shatter our sunroof. We were in the middle of nowhere, and made the decision to continue on to our destination. Then from our destination, I called the nearest dealership, explained our situation, set up an appointment to have the sunroof replaced, and then had the service completed.
The day after, the service manager called, asking if I was satisfied with the service I received. A call like that is pretty standard procedure for a service organization.
However, shortly after returning home, we received a postcard from the dealership, thanking us for our business. I was floored. This was a very courteous gesture. They did not have to do this, obviously, but the fact that they did really impressed me. It is something I will never forget.
It’s a personal touch like this that can set your company apart from the competition. A little effort in this regard goes a long way. Expressing gratitude makes customers feel really good about their decision to use a certain firm. It also spawns word of mouth (which is what I’m doing here), and leads to repeat purchases.
So, think about how you can use gratitude and a personal touch to make an impression on customers. And how can you do it differently from others? Oh, and if you ever need a Honda serviced in Pueblo, Colorado, I highly recommend the Vidmar Motor Company.