VP, Major Accounts
Paul joined our team in 2001 and has held several leadership positions in our organization where he’s partnered with clients from multiple sectors to drive business results. Paul is a people person. The drive to collaborate, share with and empower peers, clients or consumers is at the core of many of Paul’s proudest accomplishments.
Have you ever considered your product a commodity?
Perhaps not—and we wouldn’t recommend that you do so.
But you must be prepared for customers who may. Like it or not, a mortgage is a mortgage, a car is a car and a hotel room is a hotel room, and your product is one of many.
Regardless of your sector—be it banking, retail, automotive, health care, or something else altogether—your customers make decisions about what they purchase for a variety of reasons. The product itself is increasingly just one of many influencers; the brand may contribute equal weight in the decision-making process.
More and more, aligned values and customer experience are key choice differentiators.
It all begins with a common goal — your brand promise. This promise could be to have the best customer service, or to offer customers the best value for their dollar. The important thing is to remember that no one organization can do everything well. You have to pick and choose. Frances Frei put it best when she said that to be the best in class at something, in order to be great — you have to be bad. And that the well-intentioned desire to be great at everything is exactly what leads to “exhausted mediocrity.” To differentiate yourself, your brand promise must be enterprise-wide, sustainable and measurable. Once the promise is identified, it needs to permeate from the top down and employee engagement is how you do that.
This is important because a recent Gallup report found ”an alarming 70% of American employees aren't working to their full potential.” Of those 70%, 52% are not engaged and another 18% are actively not engaged, which can lead to their lack of productivity, more likelihood that they will drive customers away and disloyalty to their employers.
While you may not have played the board game Clue recently, there is compelling evidence that great consumer experience begins with an insight followed by clear and sometimes surprising action. An insight, in our opinion is a fact married to intuition. We used this insight to tackle the need for improved hospitality in the automotive sector and offer an experience that would lead to a higher rate of satisfaction and therefore greater advocacy.
In fact, loyalty increased by 17% for consumers who were completely satisfied with the service on their previous vehicle while under warranty, according to the Maritz New Vehicle Customer Survey.
Perhaps not the ones you were thinking of, rather it’s the likes you acknowledge every moment of the day: the car you eyed on the way to work, the way your barista translated your request into the perfect coffee, the phone in your hand as you glance away from this post or maybe it’s the sign on the building that reminds you why you come to work each day. The reality is that likes are a core part of what we do every day and what we like has a huge impact where we invest our time, energy and money.
Let’s begin with a difficult truth; it is increasingly difficult to differentiate yourself in the marketplace by product alone. Chances are, if you have a product that someone else makes just as well, a consumer could choose your product or your competitor’s and not make a bad decision either way.