‘Don’t fear these big-box conglomerates because if you can differentiate yourself by educating your customers, that’s what people want.’
If you’re wondering how you can make your business stand out from the rest, we can help! These five factors are key to adding value to your business.
– Customer service during pandemic
For more tips on things to do to your business during the pandemic and pivoting your business on pandemic, check out our previous episodes.
Roger: Hey! Welcome to Local SEO Today. I’m Roger Murphy.
John: And I’m John Vuong.
Roger: We want to welcome our listeners to our podcast today, all of you entrepreneurs and business owners. Today, John, we want to talk about as a business owner entrepreneur, five ways that they can add value to their business
John: Yeah, it’s a very important topic because when you’re starting a business there’s certain things that you need to understand. You need to differentiate yourself, you need to always be growing and understanding what your competitive landscape looks like but you also need to be listening to what your customers are telling you and by doing that you’re gonna also learn and grow and pivot, right? And therefore you’re always looking to add more offerings and value to your customers.
Roger: And isn’t it true, I mean we’re in whatever, 2021 everyone has had to pivot, John, around this Covid thing, this pandemic thing. We’re gonna come out of this thing. Well, hopefully we’ll all come out stronger than before but business owners have had to adjust everything and really change their value proposition or add to their value proposition so…
John: Exactly. So, I think the first thing we gonna talk about is speed. What does speed really mean? If you listen to what your customers expect from you today, what they want, desire? They want things more efficient, they want you to be on time or you know, overdeliver, right? Which is being their present when they need something and if you’re able to be more proactive and do things before they even ask, that shows that you’re actually listening and uncovering what their needs and demands are so the first thing is speed so overdeliver.
Roger: Yep and you know, really under the umbrella, all these things we talked about, John, I always refer to it for…Because our world is small business owners and small-medium sized business. How do you compete in the big world? It is your unique selling or unique benefits. What are you offering to people? So, speed, you just spoke of. The next one we’ll talk about is quality. How to bring something better? Is it a better quality of service? To educate better? Really, it’s taking care of that client that comes in your store or your business or reaches out to you. You’ve got to differentiate yourself from the competition
John: Exactly and quality might mean you would have to source out better quality equipment or material, right? To produce really good, high quality items that’s durable, that lasts longer because it all depends on your market that you wanna really push yourself into and position yourself but it really resonates with people, right? They want something. They’re gonna pay for a product or service and they want it to last, right? And therefore quality does matter for the majority of the people. They don’t want no flimsy item that they’re gonna have to return or buy a new one because they’re gonna get, you know, disgruntled. They’re gonna get frustrated and they’ll be like, “I don’t want to return to that store that sold me a product that didn’t last.”
Roger: That’s right. And I think we’ve all lived the world of cheap throwaway things and I think there might be a bit of a shift, you know, a trend in society where buying or getting something of better quality that as you say, John, is gonna last longer so that…If there’s that trend and you’re watching you’re listening to your customers, providing a better quality, more durable product or service can only help your business.
John: Exactly, number three we’re gonna talk about adding value and I know we talk…These are five things to add value but what makes you different, what’s your unique selling proposition so when I look at setting yourself, standing apart from everyone else, what does your story sound like? What’s your history, experience? Who have you worked with prior? Like let people in on what’s going on in your life, personalize a little bit. People want to hear about what your perspectives are and they either resonate with you or not but at least you’re transparent along the way so add a different dimension by personalizing.
Roger: Excellent. And of course then we talk about it in terms of adding value, it is the convenience factor. And we’ve spoken on this, John, before too. In this world we live in today, just because of the pandemic, everyone’s had to shift the way they purchase things and there’s a lot more shipping going on, a lot more e-commerce going on, a lot more…Even if you’re shopping locally, things are being delivered. So, that idea of finding something that is convenient and, you know, I’m not sure if it’s the right word, serves that purpose. But if it, you know, protects the customer so they don’t have to come into the store and reach out or touch and get involved with people but they can have something delivered to them. Not only is it…Only protects them but it makes their life, you know, it’s more convenient for them as well.
John: I think the ultimate thing is listening to your customers, pivot, understanding what the users want and try to be proactive, right? Versus reactive. So, convenience is a huge component of the service that people provide now, right? It’s expected of them more than anything. So, you need to deliver that especially in this world that we live in today.
Roger: Exactly. And of course, things are gonna change. But as we are right now we’ve lived this way, that idea of just things that are convenient, save…Time saving, efficiency, getting things done, look for that in your business.
John: Exactly. And that was number four, Roger and number five, we’re gonna talk about customer service and how important it is more than ever today for you to provide that high level engagement and service that people expect.
Roger: And it is depending on your business but many businesses and again, once we get back to a more normalized, you know, economy but the idea of providing superior customer service, I always liken it, John, to a bit maybe education. And you know, all through the years I’ve dealt with small business owners, I’ve always said, “Don’t fear these large big box conglomerates in these stores because if you can differentiate yourself with educating your customer or bringing a higher level of knowledge, that’s what people want.” It’s an emotional thing where if they feel I learned something today and that business helped me and it was a fantastic experience.
John: Exactly. Building real life relationships with real people. That’s what sets us apart from the larger players because they have systems and processes in place. But they don’t have people behind the scenes with personality that brings, you know, why do people shop at their local meat shop or dairy shop or grocery store? Like these are local mom and pop businesses that thrive usually in all communities, right? Because people want that relationship, that customer service. If it’s a coffee shop, it could be your bread shop, right? People want to know who’s behind that and they want to hear from them, you know, what’s going on in their lives, like share your story.
Roger: Yep. And that idea of just customer service, it really does connect and you and I and everyone listening to the podcast today, we all have experiences and all have examples really of instances where we’ve went, “Wow, that was great customer service.” And it really resonates and it sticks in your mind to say, “Wow, I really got taken care of by this, you know, this person that this business and they care about my business and they help me.” And that sticks with you. And of course what happens, we go back as customers. We now feel they’re our trusted, you know, source where we can go as you say, John, whether it’s the butcher or whether it’s an electronic store that teaches you how to use technology, whatever it is. That’s fantastic.
John: And just this is exactly how we build our kind of business, right? Like being honest to yourself to others, transparent, authentic and they either resonate or not with you but at least you’re out there doing the best work you can, providing the best service possible, listening to your customers. We always ask, right? And probe to find out what we can do better. What are the gaps? What is missing, that you feel we should actually want to do for them, right? How can we help serve you better? How can we add more to your life to make it easy, seamless and get the most out of our relationship?
Roger: Yeah. And it’s really as a business owner, that idea of enhancing customer service. Yes, that means you have to invest in your people, you have to train them, you have to constantly make sure that they’re on top of their game and that they know the product or know the service and how to take care of people because if they…If you as a business owner, you invest in your people so they can provide that better customer service. What to do, John, at the end of the day, it’s better for the business and more profit for the business.
John: Yeah, it’s a stickier customer interaction and not only will your staff be sticky because they love the fact that you’re training and harvesting them to be better humans, your customers will feel that you’ve embodied some really good core values in place for your entire business.
Roger: Yep. And, you know, this digresses a little bit but the idea of your staff, when they do a great job, they’re getting fulfillment out of that because they know I help that customer and sent them on their way and they’re really taking care of that. The client’s happy, your employees happy and it’s good for the business.
John: Yeah, we’re always about adding more value. Every year, we get better. There’s always growth potential in our industry anyways. And you have to look at your business to see how you set yourself apart. Don’t just look at your local competitor landscape, look at the global landscape, what’s going on in large metropolitan areas and cities? That’s how we always try to enhance our service offerings.
Roger: Yep. And everything is at your fingertips as a business owner. You can search out anything in any locale. So, t’s fantastic. So, these are really important messages, the ways to add value to your business, John.
John: Awesome. Well, thanks a lot. Roger. This was great.
Roger: And thank everyone. I want to thank everyone for listening today and come back, we’ll have another podcast very soon. So, thanks, John, and to everyone, have a great day,
John: Thank you.