By Pavlo Phitidis
Almost every business owner claims that it’s their service that sets them apart from their competition. What does that really mean though, beyond the jargon and big claims and, is a high service level truly sustainable when you’re a product-focused business?
Every business is a service business and every business should build a scalable service system.
As an enthusiastic and new business owner, the service you provide to your very first customer is, quite often, exemplary. You go above and beyond to ensure that they are well provided for, but what happens when you reach customer number 100? That level of service is not sustainable, and that’s why the secret to service lies in the systems you create.
Aristotle knew a thing or two about this, when he so famously said: “We are what we repeatedly do”. Shifting your business towards being service-oriented is vital for your success, as an effective service system will enable you to maintain the service level your customers come to expect, providing you with repeat business and longevity.
We have also learnt a thing or two. In Pavlo's conversation with Bruce Whitfield, some of that insight was discussed in this radio show here:
Let’s look at three businesses that shifted their focus from product to service, with great success:
Contextualise your service for your customers
Building a customer relationship management (CRM) database is an effective tool, that not only provides you with excellent information about your customers, but also helps to improve your service offering. A hotel that worked with Aurik put a unique spin on their guest check-in system, and each time someone checked in, they’d be asked a set of pre-determined questions. These leading questions enabled them to know their customers better, but also personalise their experience of staying in this hotel a little more. For example, during the check-in process, the reception desk agent asks guests what type of wine they enjoy and, when the guest comes down to the dining room to enjoy their evening meal, they’ll be presented with that very wine at dinner. How would that make you feel and who would you tell?
Move beyond the once-off sale
If you focus on the product your business provides, you’ll never move beyond a once-off sale scenario. Turning a once-off sale into a ten-year service, as this company who worked with Aurik did, is indeed possible, through focusing on the service, rather than the product. A retail store that manufactured and sold children’s bedroom furniture became frustrated with the seemingly once-off sale nature of his business, so he reduced his range and focused on ways to create long-term customers. Building themed bedroom sets for specific age groups, he went on to offer his customers a 50% discount on the original purchase price, if they purchased the set for the following age group, when their child had grown out of the first set. This enabled and inspired a long-term relationship, and invigorated his repeat business. Imagine the impact on his business valuation!
Building a service-driven business that solves a problem, rather than focusing on selling a product, is essential for ensuring the longevity of your business. A local supplier of baking equipment who worked with Aurik, enjoyed much success through his company, which provided hotel groups and retail stores with this equipment. A little further along into his business journey, however, customers were beginning to complain about the supplied baking equipment but, with so many variables at play, it became difficult to isolate the product problem. By flipping his business from focusing on the product, towards solving the problem, however, this business owner created a service-driven company that has happy, long-term customers. Rather than just supplying the baking equipment, he turned his business into the bakery, and now provides freshly baked goods to his customers, every day. His revised system solved his customer’s problems, using his product, by applying an effective service system. Today, having gotten rid of their internal bakeries, they rely entirely on him for their baked goods - It’s called annuity revenue!
Good, consistent service is not an act – it’s a system. Can we help you shift your business’ focus from product to service, and build effective systems that’ll help you create an asset of value? Yes, we absolutely can. Get in touch with our team at Aurik and let’s build your business into one that serves your customers, and your business.