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Is service just as important as product?10/22/18
I have recently opened up a local distributor for my products. I gave them a pretty good price. They do the selling/delivering.
Before, I was doing everything and business for that particular area(home decor) has flatlined. Not increasing, not decreasing. Just there.
We met and hashed out details. Turns out they do similar things that I do. Offer delivery, no minimums, fast service, no extra charges, etc.
For the record, both of us offer “free” delivery. (I fully realize delivery is not free)
I guess my question is this, “is what we DO, just as important as what we MAKE?
Could it possibly be more important?
My brother owns a moving business. Theoretically anyone can move. But he makes a killing just moving crap. Just cause he’s willing.
You get them in the door with your product and marketing. You keep them with your service. You can charge a higher price if you give great service because they feel taken care of.
Part of my "sales pitch" is to let my clients know that as they drove to our showroom they more than likely passed 5-10 cabinet shops that could provide them with a really nice product. We feel we offer a very nice product also, and we strive to differentiate ourselves from the others with our customer service. I never talk bad about any other business, not the other custom shops in our area, and not even the big box stores. Focus on your strengths, and promote them.
AdamB, I would assume that everyone of those 5-10 cabinet shops they passed will give them the exact same sales pitch. I even had a roofing company with 30 complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau tell me their customer service is most important! No one expects a business to not stress their customer service today. It takes a complete package of quality product, satisfied customers, professional marketing, and someone that can convey honesty that will win the job.
Service Price or Quality, pick any two.
This old and corny statement does have some truth to it. You can't do all three, but you should concentration the two you can do.
need to get to the point of doing what you say you are going to do plain and simple
Customer service is king, however the quality and price need to have a happy medium
If you look @ some of Alan F posts with bidding, he adds a little detail of the price to get it done in a rush with OT and materials logistics impact. However, he does a good job of breaking those out where they are easily seen
as Paul Downs wrote in his book, a salesman for a Toyota Hybrid lost a sale because he refused to show Paul the features of the car, where as the other salesman did, and Paul was not so much price driven @ that point, contentious of price, but definitely made the impact of taking the time to go over features
In the rush of this business climate, showing up, communication and product all play an important part
I sit on a lot of Corian and laminate inventory, have the labor and capacity, but a rush is a rush and fast track is fast track, so I charge for it
Everything has a value, but it does boil down to basics, and customer service is king
Overall at least with custom work you need to develop a clear understanding of exactly the scope and expectations of the client and us, up front. It really is about communication , it is key to a positive outcome.Anybody can sell cabinets but selling ouselves builds the trust and confidence we instill and demonstrate from current and past projects to our potential next boss. Once they have the trust they become at ease . Personally I won't work for someone who is mistrusting to the point they are reluctant to give a deposit.Being honest will get you further and keeping control of your jobs and staying in touch. Communicate.
I used to have a very clinical black & white approach to sales. If our product was clearly better or could save money, it was hard for me to understand why we didn't get the sale.
I now appreciate there is an emotional component that's often a lot more powerful than the money or our service level.
Does the customer feel good about pulling the trigger with you?
When people see an empty restaurant, they assume they shouldn't go in there. It's an emotional decision that has very little to do with pricing or food.
One company's parking lot is filled with luxury cars, the other with 30 year old pickup trucks. The snobby customer will feel better with the Mercedes company. To the value buyer, the Mercedes cars are a red flag.
It's a few years old but Why We Buy is a good read on this topic.
Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping