While it may seem obvious, most businesses are not even doing a good job at the three basics. If you can make sure to keep these areas in good shape, you will by default stand head and shoulders above the rest.
1. Quality of product: Make sure the quality of your product is demonstrably equal to or better than your best competitor. Make a list of the top three or four qualities your customer looks for in your type of product and make sure you are delivering it.
2. Quality of service: The tone with which business is conducted can make all the difference in the world. What are the most important service qualities to your clientele? Is it timeliness, friendliness, personal attention, cleanliness?
3. Quality of process: Here is where many businesses miss the mark. They offer a great product or service, do it in a customer-focused way, but make the process of doing business with them a burden. Are they making it harder or easier for your customers to do business with you? For example: What is your refund policy? Satisfaction guarantee? How do you manage long lines? Do you take credit cards on even small purchases?
4. Brand recognition: The brand of an organization has a tough job. It has to imprint what that company stands for on the hearts and minds of all the people the company wants to reach. It also has to communicate the value of a product or service and do so in a way that people remember it despite the thousands of messages and advertising we are all bombarded with on a daily basis. Brand recognition, thus, refers to how aware the people in your market are of your products or services. When you refer to a product or service as a household name, whether it’s Coca-Cola, the Salvation Army, Kleenex, Boy Scouts or Jell-O, you are speaking of its brand recognition.
To put these four crucial elements in place, I suggest you do two things. First, go check out some of your competitors in your area and see how they stack up against the items above. Next, create a simple feedback system for your customers, asking them to evaluate your products and service.
Lastly, find a way in one of these four areas to distinguish yourself. How can you differentiate yourself?
Remember, it’s the combination of the above basics done perfectly, combined with a slight twist to differentiate you that will go a long way in setting your business apart from your competitors.
Mosaic Printing, Signage and Marketing Services,
250 West Main St, Branford, CT