Organizations take products too seriously.
They think products convey value and stress features, cool technology and price as the reasons why people should buy.
I think the product – centric strategy is severely flawed.
Products don’t make companies great.
In a marketplace where benchmarking and best practices are relied on as the main vehicle of innovation, virtually every company in a given product space offers similar products.
The smartphone sector, for example, has a number of participants whose products, give or take, are essentially the same in terms of functionality and price.
Market participants claim that they have different features and that their prices are more attractive than others, but essentially they are all the same.
If products are relatively equal across all competitors, why are some companies awesome and others not so much?
It has little to do with products.
Rather it has everything to do with the company; the culture an organization wraps around it’s products and services; the context it provides for customers to engage with them.
These 12 uncomplicated moves enable organizations to provide the WOW! cushion to sell their products.
1. They recruit sensitive and caring people who have an innate desire to help others rather than place all the emphasis on their academic qualifications and related experience.
2. They have “friendly” technology dumbed down to express the value it creates for people rather than emphasizing the coolness of what it does. Technology intimidates some; they get that and try to remove the mystique.
3. They create policies and rules created to make it easy for customers to do business with them, not control the terms of engagement. They never use the words “It’s not our policy.”
4. They offer special promotions and deals first to their existing loyal customers rather than use them as an incentive to attract potential new customers. They look at special deals as a reward for customer loyalty not as a tool to entice new customers away from their current supplier.
5. They make substantial investments in the local communities where they operate, and emphasize their employees and the amount of personal time they give to the volunteering effort.
6. They routinely communicate with customers keeping them abreast of what’s new and available to them. They don’t believe in mass communications; they personalize each message to make it as meaningful and relevant as possible to each recipient.
7. They proactively reach out to their customers with lower cost product and service alternatives which could save them money over what they are currently using. Their priority is to ensure each customer has the most cost effective solution.
8. They have a fun esprit de corps culture where employees are allowed to be casual with customers. Informality puts customer engagement at ease and has them leaning in rather than leaning out.
9. They empower their service personnel to make decisions to resolve customer issues fast without the need to escalate the matter to their supervisor. They trust that their frontline will make balanced decisions that represent the needs of both the customer and the organization.
10. They are willing to provide advice to a customer to seek another organization’s product when they are unable to satisfy the customer’s need.
11. They have people available to take the customers call as an alternative to being managed by call answer technology. Their customer contact strategy is to make it easy for people to engage with them, not to force customers into using a tool of technology.
12. They treat their call centers as “loyalty centers” with the emphasis on taking care of the customer rather than processing their call quickly. Maintaining customer loyalty is the focus, not managing costs.
People don’t buy products.
They buy the instruments of organizations they admire, respect and are comfortable with; whose ideals match their own.
Organizations that want to stimulate product sales should build the right culture and sales will take care of themselves.
Finding Your Niche in Two Steps
How to Deepen Relationships with Centers of Influence
How To Earn More Cake (And Fewer Crumbs) With Authority
5 Tips to Plan for Retirement in 10 Years or Less
How to Get Your Clients to Root for You
A Plastic Fork for a Planet: The Hard Truth of Disruptive Marketing
Trust Planning: It’s Not What You Leave Behind; It’s How
6 Ways to Branch Out as a Business
How to Get to the Core of Your Company’s Brand
Why Play Defense in Rising Emerging Markets?
High-Conviction Investing19 hours ago
Why Play Defense in Rising Emerging Markets?
Research20 hours ago
This Ultimate Formula Will Help You Avoid Dividend Cutters
Markets20 hours ago
What’s Going on with the Uber IPO, Anyway?
Strategies2 days ago
The Passive Bubble: Buybacks and ETFs
Development2 days ago
How Advisors Can Keep Their Motivation Going Long Term
Forward-Looking Investing2 days ago
When Did You Own Facebook?
Equities3 days ago
Development3 days ago
How to Get Your Network Working For You