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A Shift to Service

You ever notice that there aren’t too many new ideas anymore? Everything has been done to death, so now we remix it all – but really, it’s the same ole thing. What am I talking about? Business…to be specific. It’s all the same products and features just repackaged and sold to us by different brands – celebrity endorsers – and actors. Although the stuff is the same, there are 2 differences, and I’ll get to them shortly.

They say that smokers become brand loyal after 3 years. Which means that once a smoker has purchased and inhaled the tobacco of a certain kind for 36 months; they are more likely to never leave that brand for as long as they smoke. And you know what? I’ve seen the same brand loyalty when it comes to other products, such as automobiles, clothes, cologne, watches, shoes, food, mobile technology and just about anything else you can think of. We love our stuff and we want it to be just the way we like it! So when we find something we like, it’s hard for us to leave it – or even try something new.

So with all the products being literally the same and customers having strong ties to certain brands, how does a company build a following – how do they break through? What are the keys to success? Remember those 2 things, I mentioned earlier? Well here’s the big reveal, it’s service and pricing. And believe it not, it’s more about service than pricing. Whatever company you own, work for, or support; the thing that sets it aside from the competition is service.  Customers don’t mind paying a little extra IF they feel they are getting exceptional service.

Think about car companies like Ford or Hyundai, they offer extremely generous service packages; bumper to bumper, 100,000 miles.  Love them or hate them, Wal-Mart offers a variety of services and very low prices and Target which is a direct competitor has slightly higher prices but touts better service. There is a shift to service in the country. It’s no longer about offering the best products; you have to have great service. Chick-fil-a and Zappos! are known for their service. On a personal note, I did some online shopping recently; I bought some shoes from Zappos! and on the same day purchased another item from another website. The shoes got to me in 48 hours the other item took 4 more days.

If you are tired of hearing about the power and influence of social media, tough cookies! Social connectivity and networks aren’t going anywhere. It seems that Facebook has finally figured out how to leverage its power to increase marketing and advertising revenue, which means corporate America is going to offer all kinds of discount savings to customers that reach them through Facebook. Did you know that you can get a quicker response by using Twitter than calling into a customer service contact center? Yes, if you send a tweet voicing your displeasure on Twitter you would probably get a faster – better response. I think social guilt has a lot to do with that. Tweets go out into the universe for any and all to see and companies don’t want to be victims of the #BASHTAG, e.g. #ABCcompanyStinks

Other social retail apps like Yelp! allows for customers to take advantage of instant sales and promotional events, thus giving their social customers a better customer experience. “Like us on Facebook to receive exclusive deals and prizes” – sounds familiar?

This is a simple story, if you want to improve your business then improve your service. You can apply that to your individual self as well. Sure you’re smart – sure, you know what you’re doing but are you the best co-worker, boss, manager, director, executive, leader or owner? With so many other options of products to buy and places to go and work; you need to make a shift to better service.

So, how’s YOUR service?

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