Establishing Your Company as a High Value Provider
By John Burwell, Service and Sales Coach
On a recent trip to Denver, Co. I stopped in Vail, Co. with my family. We took the opportunity to go into the heart of the town which they define as Vail Village. It reminded me of a village in the Swiss Alps (no I have not been there but I have seen pictures). As we were walking through the village and very much enjoying the 65 degree temperature, it was during the dinner rush for the restaurants. In front of each one they had their menus posted that included the prices of the different choices they offered. One of the menus I looked at was for The Vail Chop House. Most chop houses are known for great steaks. There are many other steak houses or restaurants known for great steaks and you could probably name a few of your favorite. One that I always have a great steak at is Outback Steakhouse.
Though both Outback and The Vail Chop House serve great steaks do you think the prices are different? Although they offer similar products there are many variable that play into their pricing and the experience at each. Of course operational costs and location are among those variables. Let’s focus on one variable that will always play a part in separating the value vs. price, which is the level of service provided.
At one of the more well know chain steakhouses will pay around $11.99 and at the Chop House I spoke about earlier you will pay $59 for a similar steak. That is almost 5 times the price. The level of attention, interaction, questions about what you like, the attire of the staff, and the image presented to the customer, are just a few things that widen the gap between those 2 prices for a similar product.
What about us? We know that there are many service companies for our customers to choose from and there are just as many variations in the price charged for similar services. For most of you reading this you are diligent at charging the right price. You base your price on what it takes to run a healthy profitable company. Just knowing what it takes, setting price appropriately and showing up is not enough to earn that price.
Training To Deliver Value
This is where the level of service provided by those who interact with our customers is crucial. Customer interaction is where your value is shown and delivered. How we train our team to represent that value in every interaction is key. Through training we establish a foundation and provide clarity for each team member around their individual responsibility to represent themselves, their teammates, and the organization in a way that reflects our high standards. Our reputation is at stake every time a customer interaction occurs.
Trust and Monitor To Assure Consistency
The second thing that is required to widen the gap between us and the other service providers is monitoring or verification. I like to call this “trust with monitoring.” Be sure to verify the team is providing the service experience as you've defined for the company each and every time. It is important to get out in the truck with the techs and observe their interaction with customers. This allows you to see what actions deserve praise and what actions require coaching to make the necessary adjustments. This is all in the interest of increasing the value to the customer. We’ve proven over and over, when the customer feels that they are getting their hard earned monies worth they will say yes to our qualified price.
Restaurants do this through mystery shoppers and observations on the floor. We do it through ride-a-longs and customer feedback.
Customer service training and trust with monitoring will provide the edge you need to set your company apart from other service providers in your area. By showing consistent value you will prove to your customers that you are the right choice for them.
Value centered service is at the core of our entire Service Sales Success School. This this 3-day program we teach your service technicians how to deliver an amazing experience to customers that results in unlimited benefits to the customer, the technician and your business. We have two schools remaining this year; September 12-14 in Baltimore and October 17-19 in Phoenix. For more details about the school and upcoming dates - click here.