Commercial service contractors, do delays in sending repair quotes to your customers impact your approval rate? How much? Are quotes more likely to be approved if they are paper or digital? Do pictures and videos help? These are easy questions to answer! Simply connect a business intelligence (BI) tool, like Amazon QuickSight, to the application you use to build and send quotes, like ServiceTrade, and analyze the data. It’s easy as pie.
OK, maybe it’s not that easy if you don’t have access to all these applications. On top of that, you also need loads of data that spans enough time to find statistically significant results. Don’t have access to all of those resources? That’s OK. We do. We analyzed 254,484 quotes created in ServiceTrade between January 1st, 2017 and July 31st, 2018 that were submitted to facility customers. From that data, we found that if you want to get quotes approved, they should be fast, rich, and easy.
We analyzed the time between when quotes were first created to the time they were first submitted to the customer to determine how much delays can impact the approval rate. This analysis does not take into account the time between the initial discovery of quoted opportunities to the time the quotes were created, but still offers a glimpse into the impact of delays on a customer’s probability of saying “yes.”
There’s no real surprise here. The longer it takes to get quotes into your customers’ hands, the less likely they are to approve them. The approval rate drops less quickly than I would have expected, but drops nonetheless. Turn quotes around as quickly as possible for the best outcomes.
Here’s your get rich quick tip of the day: Take more picture and videos, but not too many. Analysis of quote attachments, like pictures and videos, suggests there’s an optimal quantity that can maximize your quote approval rate; it’s 5. Fewer than that and you probably aren’t showing customers the full story and why they should approve your quote. More than that and you are likely overwhelming your customers with too much information.
Companies like Amazon and Uber set a high bar for customer experience and convenience. Data shows that commercial facility customers expect the same from you. You’re not going to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure to revolutionize commercial service contracting. However, simple conveniences go a long way. For example, sending quotes to customers online in a format that includes rich media and easy, one-click approval makes a big difference. Our data shows that ServiceTrade quotes that are viewed online are approved at a significantly higher rate than those that are not. For those that were not viewed online, this data does not distinguish between those that were delivered in a more traditional manner (email, snail mail, etc) or were just ignored by the customer. Either way, more views online mean more approvals.
You’re competing for a share of your customer’s attention and wallet. Their flooded inbox and growing to do list make it easy for them to lose track of priorities like your quotes for equipment repairs. Data suggests that email reminders give your customers the extra nudge they need to remember and prioritize your quotes. Reminders have diminishing returns but are effective at boosting overall quote approval rates.
Megabrands like Amazon and Domino’s are outselling their competitors and changing consumer expectations by going on offense and providing better customer experiences that are convenient and transparent. As easy as it is to dismiss these examples because they are seemingly unrelated to service contracting, even the local mechanic is giving their customers a better service experience. Take a look:
Do you trust that this mechanic delivered the services they were supposed to? Of course, you do. You watched them do it! The mechanic could have hoarded this video to play defense and cover their own ass in case the truck owner decided to fight the bill. Instead, they sent this to the customer online in order to be more transparent and provide a better customer experience than their competitors.
Be more like the mechanic. Be more like Domino’s and Amazon. Stop hoarding data just in case you have to defend your invoices. Go on offense and start sharing content with your customers to give them more than your competitors ever will – a contractor they can trust.
http://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.png00Shawn Mimshttp://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.pngShawn Mims2018-10-30 13:50:002018-11-09 14:21:13What Contractors can Learn from the Mechanic
Every Sunday evening I receive an email from the software investment banking team at Key Bank Capital Markets. The subject line of the email is “Software Valuations,” and the email contains a link to a weekly report that details the valuation metrics of about 100 different software companies. All of these companies are public corporations, so their stock information is readily available for the folks at Key Bank to analyze. Most of the companies they follow are software as a service (SaaS) companies, and because ServiceTrade is a SaaS company, this report is very interesting to me as the CEO and a shareholder of ServiceTrade. It is my job to maximize the value of our stock for the benefit of all of our shareholders, and the Key Bank team helps me do this through their analysis of SaaS company valuations.
Here is an annotated version of a table they publish for about 70 different SaaS companies. I limited the table to 10 of the entries to make a point about the importance of growth to shareholder value.
I sorted these from high to low based on the value-to-revenue multiple. The value-to-revenue multiple indicates how much the total of each company’s outstanding stock is worth as a multiple of their anticipated 2018 revenue. The number-one performer is Shopify, with a value-to-revenue multiple of 17.2X. The total value of all outstanding Shopify stock is equal to 17.2 times the revenue expectation for Shopify in 2018. You are reading that correctly. Investors are willing to buy Shopify stock at an extraordinary premium because they believe Shopify is going to grow, grow, grow. And Shopify is delivering on that promise. Note that Shopify expects to grow revenue by 51.1 percent in 2018 compared to their revenue in 2017. That’s a terrific growth rate. Also note that Shopify has a value of NM (Not Measured because they are not making a profit) in the category of price-to-earnings. That’s because Shopify is going to lose money in 2018. They will probably also lose money in 2019 and 2020 because they are investing like crazy to continue to grow. Despite this lack of profit, their stock is still extremely valuable.
Contrast Shopify with ChannelAdvisor. Their stock trades for just 2.9 times the revenue expectation for 2018. It’s interesting that Shopify and ChannelAdvisor offer a similar value proposition with their software applications – they both help small merchants sell their products online. The biggest difference is that Shopify is expected to grow 51.1 percent in 2018 and ChannelAdvisor is expected to grow only 6.8 percent. The expectation of growth explains why Shopify is almost six times more valuable than ChannelAdvisor.
Why is any of this relevant to your business? It is very relevant because their business model is similar to yours in that they sell a subscription program to their customers. If you are following my advice and developing a subscription program for maintenance, monitoring, and inspections for which you sell an annual or longer contract, your business is similar to these companies, and investors will ultimately value your business in the same way they value these businesses. The point I am trying to make is that growing is better than grinding when it comes to creating value for shareholders.
Grinding means pushing everyone in the organization to squeeze more profit from the current revenue stream. I have nothing against profit, and I think you should aim to be profitable. But grinding does not significantly increase the value of your business if there is the possibility to grow the business instead.
Growing is much more fun for everyone than grinding, for all of the obvious reasons. Growing means that new stuff is happening all the time. New products are being introduced to the market. New customers are being served. New employees are joining the company to help take care of the new customers. New promotions are being handed out because there is more responsibility to be shared. New offices are being opened. New equipment is being purchased. New tools are being deployed. New training is underway on how to use new tools. New, new, new means fun, fun, fun.
Grinding sucks because old tools are breaking and not being replaced. Old employees are leaving and not being replaced or taking on more responsibility for no increase in pay. Old customers are complaining because they are not getting good service. Old trucks are breaking down and disrupting the workday. Old, old, old means suck, suck, suck.
What is your plan for growth? How are you going to orient your company in a direction that gets to the fun of growing? It begins with a commitment to growth. If there is no expectation in the company that growth is an important metric, then no growth will occur. Set growth targets as part of your planning process, and don’t be shy about asking people to stretch to achieve something ambitious. For organic growth, plan to grow by 10 percent per year, and think about pushing for 20 to 30 percent (depending on the size of your company). All the best employees in your business will rally around the growth goal because none of them signed on for a career in which not much was achieved. Your employees will get much more career development from an aggressive growth strategy.
Maximizing the value of your business is the most tangible outcome associated with a successful growth strategy. The difference in valuation of the companies tracked by Key Bank in the SaaS market based on their respective growth rates is extravagant, and it should be a lesson for anyone who wants to build value with a subscription business model. The intangible value of having a growth strategy is that you will attract, develop, and retain a better class of employees who value your company because they expect to experience greater career development. They will be exposed to ever-increasing levels of responsibility, which leads to higher job satisfaction and better retention. Growing is fun and grinding sucks, so aim for growth and get more pay and have more fun along the way.
ServiceTrade is launching a new version of its mobile application for Android and Apple devices. The new app gives users an intuitive and efficient experience so they can collect more information that matters to customers.
Users familiar with ServiceTrade will find all their appointments, job details, customer contact information, and media-rich documentation features intact. Where those features are located and how they look is new. Based on user feedback, the new mobile app offers:
Clearer display of appointments and job details
Intuitive, guided workflows and more visible clock-in and -out buttons
Improvements in offline mode and syncing when reconnected
A consistent experience for Apple and Android users
This change will allow us to make more customer service innovations faster for commercial service contractors.
Everyone is invited to join a live demo of the new mobile app during one of these two webinars:
Wednesday, October 3 at 1pm ET / 10am PT
Thursday, October 11 at 4pm ET / 1 pm PT
http://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.png00Shelley Bainterhttp://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.pngShelley Bainter2018-09-18 10:02:232018-09-14 17:55:26Announcing ServiceTrade Mobile App Version 2.0
Motley Crue at Studio shooting, Tokyo, July 1985. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
Dr. Feelgood, from the 1989 Mötley Crüe single, was a drug dealer who got the name because he made his customers feel good. This kept his customers coming back for more. Do you make your customers feel good? It doesn’t really matter if you do a good job for them. If you don’t make them feel good about it, they won’t come back for more.
Obviously, commercial service contractors shouldn’t give their customers illicit drugs, but they can stimulate the same brain receptors that release dopamine, the feel-good hormone that drives positive reinforcement in the human biological reward system. Unfortunately, that same reward system has negative reinforcement mechanism called cortisol, the stress hormone, that’s easily triggered by bad customer service. Understanding what triggers these hormones is fundamental to creating an amazing customer experience that reduces stress, gets customers hooked to your brand, and differentiates your company from the competition.
If customers associate your brand with stress, they’ll look for a competitor that makes them feel better. Avoiding this should be simple, right? Wrong. Cortisol and other stress hormones are extremely easy to trigger in the human body. Have you or a loved one ever experienced the raw, unfiltered anger associated with even being a little bit hungry? This symptom, more commonly known as “hanger,” has definitely lead to more than one argument in my family. Relatively speaking, hanger is on the low end of the spectrum compared to the stress caused by bad customer service. You must be extremely sensitive to all of the stressors your customers experience when they deal with your brand. Start by examining your customer communication and service cycle for three critical stressors:
Nobody likes being in the dark, especially facility owners and managers dealing with critical building equipment. A research study by a team from the University of London published in Nature Communications in 2016 found that uncertainty is more stressful than a known bad outcome. Participants played a computer game in which they overturned rocks, some of which hid snakes. If they discovered a snake, they received a small shock. Over time, participants would learn which rocks hid snakes so they could predict whether or not they were going to receive a shock. When participants overturned rocks that they knew hid snakes, and therefore knew they were going to receive a shock, had lower stress levels than participants that were uncertain about the outcome. Wherever possible, you must provide your customer with clarity about what you do for them and what outcomes to expect. Automatic, electronic Marketing Impressions Per Service (MIPS) are a great tool for delivering certainty and transparency throughout the service cycle. From appointment reminders, to tech en route notifications, to job summaries with pictures and videos, MIPS will tell the story of every service you deliver and provide certainty that your company is delivering value.
We all get stressed out when we feel like others are wasting our valuable time. My story about returning a broken amplifier to MonoPrice, an online electronics retailer, is a great example of common inconveniences found in most customer service processes that lead to loads of stress. I wasted hours on phone calls, online chats, and email exchanges because their team lacked the information they needed to solve any of my problems. Their customer service data was scattered across different systems, divisions, and employees. Getting answers and resolution to my problems felt next to impossible. Eliminate inconveniences from your service cycle and organize your customer service data so that everyone on your team, from techs to receptionists, can answer customer questions and resolve their issues to the best of their ability.
Be proactive in your services and communication so your customer is never surprised by bad outcomes. Even if those outcomes aren’t your fault, you will be associated with the stress your customers experience. For example, if a piece of equipment that you manage fails due to something out of your control, your customer will still associate the stress of that experience with your brand. Or, if they are unpleasantly surprised by a large invoice because you didn’t communicate proactively about the potential expense, they will associate that stress with your brand. Set expectations early and often so your customer is never surprised by a bad outcome because the surprise is worse than the outcome.
Stick around for the continuation of this blog post next week where I’ll tell you how to hack your customers’ reward system to trigger dopamine and make them feel good throughout the service cycle with tools like stories, technology, and pleasant surprises.
http://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.png00Shawn Mimshttp://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.pngShawn Mims2018-09-12 14:55:272018-09-13 12:12:023 Ways to Get Customers Hooked on Your Feel-Good Brand
They spent hours on it. Brad Boggs at B&W Mechanical and Shawn Mims of ServiceTrade met several times to discuss how to integrate B&W’s accounting system with ServiceTrade. They planned it strategically, they talked with an integrator about the details, they held several follow-up calls. But as they say, the struggle of connecting ServiceTrade’s open APIs to a closed accounting system, was real.
Brad decided that since accounting was happy with their process, an accounting integration shouldn’t stand in the way of getting a new customer service and service management system in place. B&W Mechanical got started with ServiceTrade so they could meet their goals of growing their service division.
We caught up with Brad a couple of years later to see how it’s going. In this video, Brad tells us that now, B&W measures its success by things that matter to its customers – that their systems are operational and their facility needs are being met. B&W Mechanical communicates clearly and accurately with customers so they know everything they need to about their systems so there aren’t any surprises.
Their customers really like that they get clear data and visuals with a quote or an invoice. B&W no longer has to justify what their quotes or invoices are for – the customers have a clear, rich record that tells them what they’re paying for.
As Brad says at the end of this video, at B&W Mechanical the right things get done quickly. He isn’t talking about accounting.
In 1984 I was seventeen years old and working as an usher in a movie theater when the science fiction thriller The Terminator was released. It was a surprise hit, and I must have seen the movie a couple of dozen times. In case you are not familiar with the movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a human-like cyborg, a Terminator, sent from the future with a mission to kill Sarah Connor, the mother of the future resistance leader that is fighting the Terminator’s artificial intelligence master, Skynet. Aside from the obvious standout qualities of Schwarzenegger’s physique (a former Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia) and the incredible strength demonstrated by the cyborg, the Terminator looks and even acts somewhat human. To remind the audience that the Terminator is actually a very sophisticated computer, director James Cameron sometimes displays the action from the perspective of the Terminator.
In these “look through” scenes, the audience is presented with a screen that is apparently the field of vision of the Terminator. The film color quality is replaced with mostly red, white and black imagery. Superimposed on the imagery is a bunch of scrolling text gibberish and some highlighted, flashing square boxes to call attention to certain data elements the Terminator may be analyzing – a person’s body size for suitable clothing, weapons in the hands of potential antagonists that must be foiled, etc. Of course, if the Terminator was really a sophisticated computer cyborg, there would not be an internal display barfing computer gibberish onto a screen in a manner that was readable by humans. Computers do not need human-readable text to operate on data the way humans need it. The computer would simply be ingesting external data via the cyborg’s camera eyes and his microphone ears along with any other external sensors for temperature, pressure, odor, and what not. Based on this observed data, the Terminator would be making judgments and taking actions that would have a high probability of creating a path to accomplish the mission – the termination of Sarah Connor. All of this would be happening without a human readable screen display.
Why am I talking about The Terminator? Why is the detail of the Terminator’s view of the world as depicted by the movie director important? I am talking about The Terminator to illustrate the point that artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of things (IoT), big data, and all of the other alphabet soup puked up on a daily basis by technology media and vendors hyping their products is generally nothing more than the collective, gradual evolution of computers. In 1984, James Cameron could imagine a computer that understands and speaks natural language, sees real-time imagery, reacts to its environment, and takes actions to accomplish the mission. To portray the Terminator as a sophisticated AI being, Cameron showed the audience a visual model that generally represented what computers looked like to the masses in 1984 – a somewhat low-resolution screen with digitized text scrolling on it with an occasional selection option that would become highlighted if you tabbed a cursor to it (remember, the mouse was a new thing in 1984 as the first Apple MacIntosh computers just shipped that year). Cameron could not assume that the audience would make the leap to his futuristic interpretation of an AI-enabled cyborg, so he showed the audience a 1984 computer interface to make certain they got the connection. All this stuff in the media about AI, IoT, machine learning, big data, blah, blah, blah is just the real world catching up to what James Cameron predicted would happen way back in 1984.
Today we are talking to our phone to have it dial our best friend. We are issuing verbal commands to our Alexa assistant to have it order pizza or play our favorite music. Our Nest thermostat is monitoring our habits, such as when we come and go, along with our preferences for ambient temperature in order to take actions regarding raising and lowering the temperature where we live. These common applications of AI would have been totally foreign and inconceivable to a movie audience in 1984. But James Cameron had a vision of what artificial intelligence could potentially accomplish in the future, and he did a really good job presenting that vision to the audience in a way that they could understand it. Let’s do a quick reset on some over-hyped terms – AI, IoT, and big data.
Artificial Intelligence – AI is just the trend toward computers ingesting more diverse data in more formats (i.e. images, audio, natural language, pressure, temperature, humidity, etc.) to enable analysis that leads to judgments and actions related to accomplishing a mission or objective. Because AI is more of a trend than a definitive end-state, AI can simply be classified as Hofstadter, a famous AI scientist, describes it – “AI is whatever hasn’t been done yet.” More accurately, AI is simply the leading edge of new capability for computers to operate more intelligently on a broader diversity of data.
Internet of Things – IoT is simply a trend where more and more things are connected to the Internet to send or receive data or to act upon data received. Historically connections to the Internet were people staring at screens (and increasingly listening to audio speakers) and entering data or responding to data received. “Things,” whether a cyborg like the Terminator or a $10 temperature sensor, don’t need screens (nor keyboards or a mouse or speakers) to send and receive data or to act upon data received.
Big Data – Big Data is simply the collection and analysis of data sets that are too large for humans to effectively parse, analyze, and extract intelligence from using simple programs like Excel. Ever cheaper storage and computing cycles lead to ever-increasing data collection, storage, and analysis. Again, big data is simply a trend and not a definitive end state.
Over time, computers will progress to read a broader spectrum of inputs, make more sophisticated judgments, and take an increasing variety of actions that lead to desired outcomes. No one was talking about AI in 1984 – no one in the mainstream media anyway – because the topic was confined to a small group of computer nerds at top technical institutions like Stanford and MIT. Yet the director of The Terminator could imagine a future where a computer becomes so powerful that it can measure its environment in a humanlike manner, make judgments based upon those measurements, and take intelligent actions to execute a mission – in this case, the termination of Sarah Connor. It is unlikely that anyone who saw The Terminator in 1984 remembers the on-screen effects that Cameron used to connect the audience to the idea that the Terminator was a computer. I bet everyone who saw the movie remembers the Terminator’s mission, however. What was the mission? To terminate Sarah Connor of course.
Whether an innovation can correctly be labeled as AI (or with any other overhyped term of the day) is far less important than whether the innovation helps accomplish the mission. The Terminator’s mission was to terminate Sarah Connor, and the Terminator was extremely well suited for carrying out the mission (although it actually failed in this case). Defining the mission that you would like to accomplish with AI, IoT, big data, etc. is actually much more important, in my humble opinion, than the actual technology you select to achieve the mission. Have you thought about the mission that you want to accomplish using technology?
I believe the mission you are generally attempting to accomplish through technology is to maximize customer equipment performance while eliminating equipment failures so that your customer experiences the least risk, expense, and disruption in their business. The reason that technology is important as an enabler of this mission is because it is generally cheaper and easier to manage (sometimes) than people. If you accomplish this mission, your customer will spend zero dollars recovering from disruptions (lost output, spoiled inventory, damaged property, emergency services) while maximizing the amount of money they spend with you relative to other suppliers.
I will continue this topic next week with real-world examples of how AI, IoT, and big data are being used by service contractors today. I’ll also have some advice to make sure that what you’re building is more like a high-performing Terminator than a cobbled-together Frankenstein monster.
http://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.png00Billy Marshallhttp://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.pngBilly Marshall2018-07-18 14:01:372018-07-18 16:33:20AI, IoT, M2M, Big Data - The Alphabet Soup of Technology Jargon You Need to Understand (Part 1 of 2)
“When we started with ServiceTrade we had one pipefitter. Now we have five.” When Mary Krinbring of AAA Fire Protection in Seattle told us that in September 2015, everyone on our end of the phone’s eyes opened wide at that 500% growth. “Tell us more, Mary…”
Mary Krinbring, AAA Fire Protection. November 2017.
When AAA Fire Protection joined ServiceTrade in August 2014 they were bogged down with paper processes and wanted to go digital. They adopted ServiceTrade to speed up the time it took to send Invoices to customers.
Mary told us that they didn’t use ServiceTrade for quoting at first because they felt like they had it covered. But after learning how ServiceTrade’s built-in quoting could help them turn regular inspections into more repair jobs, they gave it a try. Mary attributes their need for more pipefitters to the nice workflow that converts deficiencies into quotes for repairs. Before long, they were having a hard time keeping up with their repair opportunities and added an estimator to create repair quotes for their expanded pipefitting team. Mary reports that using ServiceTrade has increased their quote volume by at least 50%.
Today, AAA’s pipefitting department has more than doubled again and the company has achieved 20% growth. Mary sat down with us at the 2017 Digital Wrap Conference to explain why she thinks that ServiceTrade and a Digital Wrap helped AAA break through barriers that were holding them back from reaching the growth they’d been working hard to achieve.
AAA Fire Protection is dedicated to smart growth and using technology to keep their customers around. ServiceTrade is proud to be their partner.
http://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.png00Shelley Bainterhttp://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.pngShelley Bainter2018-01-30 15:54:362018-01-30 15:56:21A Story of Growth - AAA Fire Protection, Seattle
“What skilled labor shortage? We don’t have any trouble hiring service technicians. We’re covered up in job applications.” That’s what a ServiceTrade customer told Billy Marshall, our CEO, on a recent visit. This customer figured that the economy was tanking because there are so many techs applying for work at his company. Billy just shook his head. “Nope. Everyone else is struggling to hire skilled labor. Your Digital Wrap is recruiting new techs for you.”
Your truck wrap has always been a recruiting tool. Just by performing the day-to-day work and driving around town, your technicians and the trucks they drive market your brand to potential customers and employees. A Mercedes Sprinter with a well-designed wrap is going to leave a good impression, right? A beat up, 15-year-old Ford Econoline with a few decals designed in the 90s, not so much. But, you already knew that.
What our customer and most service companies don’t realize is that a Digital Wrap works the same way. Just by performing the day-to-day work and generating online content for your customers, your technicians, equipped with technology, can market your brand to potential customers and employees. A well-designed website that shows up on the top of Google search results thanks to hundreds of great reviews collected by technicians is going to leave a good impression, right? A 15-year-old website that looks like it was designed before the .com bust, not so much. But, you probably already knew that.
Modern buyers and workers find and judge the companies they want to work with online. If you can’t be found on Google, strike. If you don’t have good reviews, strike. If your website looks like hot garbage, strike. You’re out of consideration. But, if you do have a great Digital Wrap, the customers and job applications will come to you. Selling and recruiting will get easier because people want to work with a premium brand they can trust.
What’s your brand promise? A brand promise is a powerful, shorthand way for companies to tell their customers what to expect. They’re what makes a company different and better than their competition, and a good brand promise gives you permission to focus intently on living up to that promise.
Here are a few popular examples:
Geico: 15 minutes will save you 15% or more on auto insurance
BMW: The ultimate driving machine
Jimmy John’s: Freaky fast
So who do you think you are? What does your company promise to your customers that they can’t get from your competition?
Don’t fret if you are scratching your head right now – it’s not uncommon for service companies to lack a clear, concise statement like BMW’s “The ultimate driving machine.”
There are a few things you can do to reveal your brand promise. But we’d like to start with what not to do, and that is to offer empty platitudes. Have you ever uttered any of these phrases? We have better techs. We give better service. We work harder. We care more.
It’s ok if you have because you aren’t the only one — by a long shot. Benign statements like these are hard to prove and are meaningless to the customer. While it’s nice that you work hard and care about doing quality work, it isn’t unique to your business and it isn’t compelling to your customers and prospects.
The best way to determine your brand promise is to step into the shoes of your best customers. What do they want? Why do they love working with you?
They want a better program designed to fit their needs
They don’t want any hassle
They want to see the value in your relationship
How are you different and better than everyone else who does what you do? At ServiceTrade, our mission is to make commercial service contractors more important to their customers to grow their business.
At BMW, it’s to create the ultimate driving machine. BMW shoppers know that they’re looking at an automobile that offers a driver’s experience, not granny’s slow, comfortable ride around town. Jimmy Johns does everything it can to be freaky fast. Even to the point of limiting their menu to a single option for mustard or cheese. (Did you know that? Dijon or provolone – that’s it.)
What makes you unique isn’t a question you can find the answer for in Google. It takes introspection. Involve your team in this project of self-discovery.
And, finally, get ready for some uncomfortable conversations. You’re definitely going make some customers unhappy if your brand promise doesn’t match their values. You may even lose some deals. But it’s worth it to focus your business on delivering the type of profitable work that is in your sweet spot. Uncovering your brand promise will help you win more of the customers you want and help keep them for longer.
Who do you think you are? Spend some time to figure it out.
http://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.png00Shelley Bainterhttp://servicetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SERVICE_TRADE_LOGO_NO_TAGLINE_340x156.pngShelley Bainter2017-11-29 08:39:272017-12-12 15:52:32Who do you think you are?