We all want to stand out in relation to our competitors and in the eyes of our customers. Your competitors are always out there and are just as confident that their product and services are better than your product and services.
Today, your customers are more savvy than ever. Most likely — with the help of the Internet — there are more options available to them than ever before. For a customer to start or continue to do business with you, there needs to be a compelling reason or you are at risk of losing that opportunity.
What is it that makes your company stand out? Why should someone do business with your rental company?
A great place to start this important discussion is with your employees. Let them help identify your competitive advantages. Encourage an open discussion on what makes you unique and why customers like to do business with you. This discussion also will help bring pride in your employees as they work to better your company.
The definition of being unique is being the “only one” or being “without a like or equal.” Use that as a guide when you are determining how to differentiate your company and set it apart from your competition.
Think out of the box in terms of what will make customers notice that you are a special company and one they would want to do business with.
What I hear from my customers in the equipment rental business is that their products are no longer unique. There are lots of places in their markets where customers can rent a chair, a table or a skid-steer.
Customer service, however, can be a differentiator. Caring, responsive, memorable and fun customer service can help you stand out in your market. The passion you have for servicing your customers does make a difference on many levels. The relationships you build with your customers are clearly a function of the service they receive. You want to treat your customers with respect and make them feel special or unique.
The key, of course, is that the exceptional level of service has to be consistent and everyone in your organization must be on board. To be truly impactful, your customer service uniqueness needs to be present and obvious within your entire company, not just an individual.
Customer service is not the only area in which you can define your uniqueness. It can be in your marketing, location, vision and many other areas. Have fun determining how to share that uniqueness with your customers and you will see a difference in customer loyalty and company pride.
Barry Himmel is a senior vice president for Signature Worldwide, a Dublin, Ohio-based company offering sales and customer service training, marketing and mystery shopping services for a variety of service-based industries. Signature also offers several training sessions geared towards the rental industry. For more information, call 800-398-0518 or visit signatureworldwide.com.