Can culture help you steal customers from competitors?
Yesterday my wife and I had to take one of our dogs to a new veterinarian because our main vet was booked until next week. Our poor boxer, Sugar, has had multiple issues since we adopted her in October so trips to the vet have become almost a weekly occurrence.
I’m sure you know how frustrating it is to start at ground zero with a new doctor / dentist / vet / business… you have to fill out tons of paperwork, answer lots of questions, and then help the new doctor get up to speed on the current situation.
But this experience was QUITE different from what I expected.
This new staff asked us a TON of questions. It was more thorough of an initial process than I think I’ve ever experienced. They took a picture of Sugar for her file, and talked us through the range of treatment options. The entire experience involved this new staff doing what they could to make us feel better about the treatment process with Sugar.
Then just before we left, they provided us with a folder of information including:
- a copy of their file on Sugar (which included everything we had shared with them),
- doctor’s notes about how sweet of a dog she was and treatment prescribed,
- brochures of products and local companies they recommended, from the ER to heartworm medication.
As soon as my wife and I walked out of that visit, we both agreed that we wanted to move our business from our previous vet to this new one. We felt informed in what they shared with us, comfortable that they were taking great care of our dog, and most of all, their level of thoroughness in both gathering Sugar’s history and sharing about her health issue made us feel safe working with them.
That was no accident.
This specific vet intentionally created the environment to make customers feel safe and welcome, even down to the complimentary coffee they provided – which was offered in mugs, not styrofoam cups. They understood that any trip to the doctor (be it a dentist, family doctor, or yes, even the vet) can be stressful because the majority of the time, you’re going to them because something wrong. This office took steps to make you feel comfortable and safe.
It’s this type of intentional experience that can be a game-changer for your business.
Every customer has an experience with your brand. Most experiences don’t generate a mark unless it swings heavily in one direction or another. Think about it:
We don’t generally remember our service at a restaurant unless:
- it was slow & terrible (poor), or
- the staff was quick, courteous, and surprised us with something personal (great).
Otherwise we never give it a second thought.
We don’t think about our experience with an e-commerce brand unless:
- Our package arrives damaged, we have serious issues with their customer service to fix a problem or the like (poor)
- Our shipment includes a surprise like a hand-written insert, special packaging, or amazing customer service help (great).
Just “ok” won’t help your company win.
The reason that extremes stand out is because customers expect a simple, clean process. Business owners want a smooth, seamless transaction, but the problem lies in the fact that an expected process doesn’t become a memorable one.
In their book Talk Triggers, Jay Baer & Daniel Lemin talk about the importance of creating these unique experiences for customers in order to stand out in the customer’s mind, and most importantly, create that lasting connection. I spent the first two years of building Compete Every Day by writing a thank you card to every single customer, and now, I still send random thank you cards to customers. I even will send small thank-you videos to new followers we gain on social media.
You can’t scale this type of activity, but it’s not the scalable activities that make your company stand out.
How to do better.
In order to do better, your team needs to be equipped with the right mindset and focus to make an impact on your customers. This focus goes beyond just “getting the job done” and more on “doing my job the best I can.”
See the difference?
“Getting the job done” implies doing the minimum to get by. Instead of going for straight A’s, you’re good with C’s & D’s, because with this mindset, you “still get a degree.”
“Doing my job the best I can” is about striving for excellence. This mindset asks how can I do the best I can on this, and when complete, reviews to see where they can do better next time. It’s consistently giving full effort, no matter what the situation or how the person feels in the moment. It’s a belief that “getting by” & “good enough” isn’t actually enough.
A company full of people who embrace the pursuit of greatness excel well past their competition.
Do you have a company culture that is great enough to steal customers from your competitors?
If not, we should talk. Because in order to create that winning culture, you’ll need a team of Competitors who know what it takes to pursue greatness – and are committed to that pursuit.