The Internet has turned everyone into “price conscious consumers” since it has become so easy to compare products and services from different businesses. Before the Internet, it was much more difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to compare one product or service against another one without a great deal of effort. Now, in the matter of a few minutes and a few clicks we can do extensive comparisons on products, services, features, and of course, price. The playing field has been leveled.
Does this mean you can only win if you compete on Price? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
There are two ways you can beat this game. Any business can do it… this isn’t reserved for the consumer side, it is equally (if not more) effective for companies who are B2B (business-to-business).
“Price only matters when the customer considers your product or service to be equal.”
Back to the Internet. If you are trying to find a particular product and everyone is carrying it, you shop for price… it’s what we’ve now been trained to do. You find the cheapest price and figure “they are all the same” so why does it matter. However, there is one more level of consideration in this rule. The next (and most important) question you will ask, “Is there some reason I would buy it from one business over another business?” This is the magical question every business should be able to answer if the affirmative to win more business.
All things being equal, you will pick price as your primary guide. When this happens, the product or service has become a “commodity.” The Internet has “commoditized” virtually every business today, regardless of whether it is a product or service business. Even professional services, like lawyers, accountants, financial services, insurance, and many others have become commoditized. They have lots of competitors who are competing with them on price. Companies LegalZoom, TurboTax, QuickBooks, etc. have all taken billions of dollars away from these professions. As long as everything appears to be the same, why wouldn’t you go with the lowest price? I would… and so would you.
The Magic Formula
The magic formula for any business, who doesn’t want to play this game with the customer, is to make it so the customer doesn’t consider you to be equal to your competitors. Let me say this in a slightly different way to make sure this resonates. The only reason your customer will choose you is if they don’t see you as being equal with your competitors and they see you as being completely different.
But when you are selling a particular product (or service) that others sell, how do you distinguish yourself from the pack of competitors? How do you stand out when the Internet is telling everyone price is all that matters? How do you build a business where you can sell virtually the same product or service as your competitors but be viewed as entirely different and the one everyone should buy from? These are the questions you need to answer if you want to be “differentiated” from your competition.
Today, we can’t do as much about the products or even services you provide being significantly different from your competitors. Unless you are creating products or services that haven’t been created before (this very difficult and hard to sustain) such as Elon Musk did with Tesla (at least for now), the customer views them as the same. It is almost impossible to create and sustain new innovative product/service development without massive amounts of cash and time. For the sake of argument, let’s say you can’t really create new, never been created, new products/services for your business on a consistent basis (very few can). If this is the case, what else can you do to not be “viewed as equal,” viewed as a “commodity” alongside your competitors? There is a better (and easier) answer to this dilemma.
Blow your customers doors off with how you treat them and show them that they are the center of your universe! Become “REMARK”able.
How to WIN… and be viewed as unique.
If you are in fact truly “REMARK”able, it means your customers are talking about you to their friends and colleagues… they are not talking about your competitors. They go out of their way to “remark” (or talk about) you and tell others about how incredibly awesome you are. If you are the one business your customers rave about, tell everyone else to buy from, go out of their way to make sure others know about you, and buy from you consistently, YOU WIN. You don’t have to be (and don’t want to be) the lowest price. You offer more than price… you offer them a “trusted, helpful relationship with an experience that causes them to say WOW whenever they interact with you. You give them what we all want (to feel like they are special), and you can even charge them more (89% say they will pay more for an incredible customer experience).
You have beaten the price game.
When you become “REMARK”able you don’t have to worry about being shopped around for the lowest price. You don’t have to worry if someone has dropped their price last night on the same product/service so they can steal your customers away. You don’t have to offer lots of special deals and sales that cost you more money than you make. You don’t have to stress yourself (and your employees) with coming up with the latest and greatest product or services. You don’t have to play the price game. You can finally stop worrying about your customers trying to find the lowest price through the search engines because others are telling them you are the only place in town they should buy from.
When others are “doing your marketing for you,” your customers come to you because you treat them better than anyone else in your industry and they trust you completely. If this was happening today for your business, how would your business change? What would your profitability look like? How would you look tomorrow if this was happening today?
Being CUSTOMER OBSESSED is what gets you to becoming “REMARK”able. It simply means you are “all in” on finding ways to make your customer’s experience incredibly awesome while you are helping improve their life and/or their business. You are building trust with each and every interaction with all your employees. You have changed the culture (or DNA as I call it) of your business.
You now have the answer for how you can avoid participating in the commodity world the Internet created.
I know this sounds too good to be true, but it is happening every day with hundreds of companies. Many of whom you know the names of, such as Zappos, Disney, Southwest Air, Ritz Carlton, as well as many you haven’t heard of but are rocking their customers world. It can happen… it is happening. The only question for you, as a business leader, is whether or not you want to participate in this world where you can remove yourself from playing the price (commodity) game over and over. You already know what that game looks like… maybe it’s time to look at playing a different game for your business and moving to be Customer Obsessed. Customer Obsessed companies become “REMARK”able and get talked about… a lot.
What to do next…
The first step is education. Get educated on what this really looks like, why it works so incredibly well, and how you would go about making this a reality in your company. This information is out there, you just have to work a bit to find it. Or, if you want to save some time, let’s grab coffee and I can expedite your search and give you the insights into how this could become a reality in your company. The coffee (or lunch) is on you… the information and education is on me. My passion and charter for WOM10 is simple… help make every business “REMARK”able.
The only question that remains is, “Are you ready to be Customer Obsessed and become “REMARK”able?”