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Your Path To Awareness

Why 'Service' in Business No Longer Works

Posted: 07-Oct-2013    Category: Business, Video

Imagine you are taking your car in to the repair shop for some standard work. There are two shops to consider. They are both close to your home and charge comparable prices. Both shops employ capable mechanics and produce quality results. How do you decide which shop to go to?

The answer is easier than it seems. After all, we all know there is more to business than the service alone. We will usually pick the shop that makes us feel more comfortable. We will pick the auto shop that has a shuttle service. We will consider how friendly the staff is and how comfortable the waiting room may be. We will opt for the service that comes with extra perks. Maybe there are donuts in the waiting area along with cable TV to pass the time. Maybe the technicians wash your car before they hand it to you. Maybe they take extra time to explain step-by-step the repair work that was done.

Just because two businesses offer the same service does not mean they offer the same experience. We all expect a service when we select a business. It is the experience within that service that will make us into loyal consumers.

The problem is that most businesses focus on giving good service. While we all need to offer meaningful services, service alone is no longer enough to engender real loyalty. Service is an act. It is a task. While we all have to provide a service, that should never be our focus. Focusing on service is aiming for the lowest common denominator. To flourish, we need to set our sights higher.

We need to focus on experience.

When we focus on experience, we are focusing on creating an emotion. When we create an emotion, that experience becomes a part of them and in turn creates a story line. It is these story lines that engender loyalty. If these story lines are strong enough, customers will share them with others, bringing in new customers to share in the experience as well.

One of the best recent experiences I’ve had is at the Maxwell Realty Broker Owner Conference at the Fairmont Banff Springs that I just spoke at.

Upon my arrival, I received a gift basket from Nolan Matthias, the Vice President of Maxwell. I have attended many similar events, and I have received many complimentary gift baskets and cards. However, unlike most such welcomes, Nolan Matthias took the time to write the card by hand. This means that he wrote a personal note to every guest.

This level of attention went beyond service and created an experience that made me feel welcomed. Many of the guests personally thanked him for that experience.

My experience did not stop there.

Next I met William Cunningham, the Regional Sales Manager for the Fairmont. I first heard about William from my time with Nolan. Nolan could not stop praising William about his attention to experience, so I felt I had no choice but to meet the man myself.

I have to say, he certainly lived up to the hype -- and quickly surpassed it.

William is overwhelmingly attentive to his guests. Many Sales Managers close the deal and then disappear. William was readily available during every step of the process, even when the event was ongoing. Not only will I laud William’s commitment, I would encourage anyone wanting to do an event to give William a call. If you ask him nicely enough, he might even play the piano for you. William, after all, is also a skilled Composer Pianist.

I learned a lot at the Maxwell Broker Owner Event, but nothing more salient than this: experience is everything.

Too many people think creating an experience is too hard or complicated. It is actually pretty simple. Start by looking at what you are already doing and then think of ways to make it special. Take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. The key is not to figure out how you can create a great experience for people.

The secret is to look at what you are already doing as in service and create an extraordinary experience within it.

To get started, try the following steps:

  • Write down every contact point in your company
  • Write down what your clients are experiencing during those contact points
  • Write down what you want your clients to experience consistently
  • Implement changes to make this experience a reality

By following these simple steps, it is possible to take your current services and make them into an unforgettable experience. To conclude, just remember:

  1. Service is what people expect
  2. Experience is what will keep them coming back

So stop thinking about service and start focusing on experience, and you will see your business flourish like never before.

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