Stop trying to do things the way they used to be done
Originally written for Hacker Noon on Medium.
Business isn’t getting easier.
We were promised a world where technology would take care of us. The internet would deliver us customers, and digital platforms would automate and manage all the work.
Instead, it feels like technology has made things more difficult and certainly more competitive.
The internet democratized business, letting almost anyone, with minimal investment, hang a shingle, appear legit, and start taking clients.
So while that big pool of customers is out there, there are significantly more options for them to choose from.
Doing business in 2021 is as hard as it’s ever been because everyone, everywhere, is competition.
A Better Way of Doing Business
Some have attacked this challenge head-on. Doubling down on the size of their sales teams, investing heavily in digital marketing and sophisticated adtech, working off the notion that they can either outspend the competition.
It might work, though the investment is too costly for most, and justifying ROI is a pipe-dream.
Others are committing the cardinal sin of discounting and lowering fees, beginning an arms race to the bottom and taking the first steps towards a future nobody wins.
Who wants to charge less for doing more?
If you’re trying to outspend or price cut your way to the promised land, no matter your business, you’re setting yourself up for a world of hurt.
I’m here to tell you; there is a better way.
A way to make more money from the clients you have and make your customers your best salespeople.
Ready for it?
It’s really very straightforward.
Give them a pleasant experience.
That’s it. That’s the secret.
A focus on the experience your customers have, either inside the products you sell or in every interaction they have with your business, is the most fundamental improvement you can make to your company's future health and growth.
The evidence is all around us. The success of so many companies is tied directly to the experience they create for their customers. The ones that delight, make their customers' lives better, win, and find success.
Some examples of companies using Customer Experience to drive results:
Patagonia — Patagonia’s customers know that should they have any problems, with anything they’ve purchased, at any time, they can return to a Patagonia store, and be taken care of, no questions asked. Patagonia provides an unmatched level of customer service by standing behind everything they sell and putting the onus on the company to maintain quality.
Ace Hardware — known as The Helpful Place, Ace’s focus on service and authentic 1:1 experiences, is their weapon against deeper-pocketed competitors like Home Depot and Amazon, keeping the smaller Ace at the top of the JD Power customer satisfaction rankings for ten straight years.
Zappos — the customer service at Zappos is legendary, they will go to almost any length to ensure a customer has a good experience and so much of their success has been predicated on doing business this way. Search online, and you’ll find an endless tales of Zappos going above and beyond and their customers loving them for it.
A startup example;
Indio — the team at Indio, a platform for commercial insurance agents, built their entire product with one goal in mind; allow agents to delight their customers. By crafting a totally new way of doing things and removing the time-wasting steps usually involved in applying for insurance, Indio knew that they’d not only fill a need in the industry but provide the customer experience that end users would clamor for.
As the great Simon Sinek likes to say, “It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it,” if the why is to take care of your customers first and foremost, most other things will fall into place.
What are you doing, in a big way or small, to take care of your customers?
How are you making their experience with you or with your products better?
What’s holding you back from bringing delight to your customers?
Customer Experience Stats
Gartner stat: by 2018, more than 50% of organizations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience,
Bain & Co stat: a customer is 4x more likely to buy from a competitor if their problems are service-related versus price.
White House Office of Consumer Affairs stat: it is 6–7 times more costly to attract a new customer thanto retain an existing customer.
Glance stat: 91% of customers who had a bad customer experience won’t willingly do business with your company again.