SBM 101: Killer Service, Killer Differentiation

Small Business Marketing 101As we have discussed this week, there are a variety of ways in which to differentiate or position your small business. But have you ever tried something, maybe launched a new product, only to have your competitors copy what you’ve done? It is frustrating, but expected.

iphone competitorsRemember when Apple launched the iPhone? How did their competitors react? Were they more innovative or did they simply try and copy what Apple did?

Here’s my analysis of that situation. With the exception of Google, the vast majority of cell phone manufacturers tried very hard to copy what Apple had done. It became a battle of “me to” products and slightly different cell contract agreements.

The truth of the matter is that you need a variety of offerings. Some of them will be copyable to an extent. You’ll just have to live with this, especially if you are in the retail business. Your decor can be copied. Most of your products and recipes can be copied. Even your advertising can be copied. But there is one area that tends to trup all others – customer service.

If you take the time to build a business that people love working at; create a remarkable team culture and work atmosphere; train your team with more than just “what they need to do to get the job done”; and reward them as they help perpetuate and grow your service culture you will have a business that is capable of taking on almost any competitor.

Have you every worked for an employer like this or ran your own business this way? What worked well? What didn’t? What were some of the struggles you faced? What were your victories?

Thanks for reading this week. Next week, we’ll take a closer look at how you can engage your employees and build a world-class service business.

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