Having a unique value proposition will differentiate you from your competition. Most people are at a loss to really articulate their unique value proposition. Many companies say that their service is what sets them apart from their competition. They will say, “Our Service is what sets us apart. We give great customer service.” If that is your answer I would ask you to think about that. Doesn’t everyone claim to give great service? What is unique about yours?
You really need to go a step above that by exceeding your customers’ expectations. One way to do that is create a product, a service or an experience that is innovative in your customers’ eyes. What would really wow your customers? Steve Jobs achieved that wow when he created the iPhone, an invention that was less of a phone than something holding most of our needs that we can carry anywhere.
According to Peter Drucker, in order for any business to succeed, a business must attract and retain customers. The key questions obviously become, “What do my potential customers want from me? How do they want to receive it, and how do I get them to keep coming back for more?”
Many organizations today are stuck in the rut of a “that is how we have always done it” mentality. They are so involved in their business on a daily basis that sometimes they have blinders on as to what is really happening. They miss what the customer really wants, and ultimately what the customer really sees as they interact with the organization.
Does your customer have an emotional attachment to your company? What is your brand and what is your brand loyalty? For example, Starbuck’s has created a brand of coffee but the real brand is the great guest experience, or the “other place” where people come to work and interact as they have their favorite beverage. The great guest experience is the emotional attachment that Starbucks has with its loyal customers.
Don’t talk about your service because no one knows what that means. The problem with that statement is that it is not defining what excellent service they provide and how they wow the customer. Instead consider how you measure the voice of your customer. Understanding your customers’ wants and needs is step one. The products and services that you create to meet those needs will create the customer loyalty. Create a connection with your customers. Customers will see the value of the connection when they see the business working on solutions to their problems. Creativity, flexibility, and innovation will help you create value filling a vital need of the customer and no one else can fill.
In the end driving innovation and customer loyalty comes down to leadership and execution. You must provide leadership, establish a culture of goal achievement and accountability, and measure results in the eyes of your customers.
I find myself having to do just what your post is discussing this morning. Always thinking about the market, your message and the customer is key.
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