I was recently approached by a service company looking to develop messaging that would get heard. The company was growing but not enough to compete in their heavily crowded, competitive market.
After digging in, it became clear that their new customer acquisition was flat and they were too dependent on a few customers. The company had two challenges: to create a new story that highlighted it’s uniqueness and to discover a way to separate itself from its competitors.
A major challenge but one any company will relate to.
The first step was to review their services and team. It is hard for all of us to look into our weaknesses and vulnerabilities and it is no different with companies. What were the strengths and where were the weaknesses?
We started by speaking with all the stakeholders: owners, sales team, office staff and customer service reps. It is not uncommon for those with varying roles in the company to have different perspectives but in this case, there was a unanimity in their response. They talked about the technical tools that streamline their operations, the quality of the products they use and the training they provide their service personnel.
All excellent attributes but in this service game, nothing that differentiates them from their competitors.
Then we went to their customers and the conversation changed.
IN THE END, ITS ALL ABOUT THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Customers talked about the over-the-top customer service their team provided. It was the about the courtesy and professionalism that the service people brought to their customers. It was about the office team that worked hard to accommodate their customers schedule and reschedule as is often necessary. It was about the upfront, transparent pricing. It was about providing evening and weekend appointments for their commercial clients at a fair cost.
But most importantly, we heard how much the customers appreciated the follow up after each visit, whether they were under contract or not. More than one customer mentioned how surprised they were when their service tech stopped by, at no charge, to run a check on the system they had serviced.
It turned out it’s all about the customer experience.
The differentiation: They could tell the world it delivered an excellent product AND service. To get the message across, we used the customer’s voices, collecting testimonials and anecdotals: those unique. personalized stories that resonate because they are genuine. The marketing team customized the messaging for each customer group and formatted them for each marketing platform.
When a company is able to connect to their potential customers , even in a small way, the marketing and sales dynamic changes.
Every business, every organization needs to write their unique story. The best ones are written as a collaboration between the company and it’s customers.