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How to make service a marketing advantage

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(Photo: iStock.com/frender)
(Photo: iStock.com/frender)

As a marketing consultant, I’m often asked for ways to jumpstart a prospective client’s marketing. This often happens when work slows, such as during the summer or this time of the year.

Most of us have been there and we know the truth. There is no way to jumpstart marketing. Businesses that use desperate marketing, like buying lists or relying only on Google Ads, often end up attracting low-quality leads.

It turns out the surest tactic is making service a long-term, incremental marketing practice that grows over time, day by day. This activates relationships, attracts new ones and productively focuses company resources for a purpose.

Invest in the art of compounding

We’ve all witnessed how success breeds more success but have you ever wondered why that’s true? It’s knowing from experience that giving a little more service than expected tends to turn luck your way.

This is the best marketing you have. I’m not telling you something you don’t know, but to consider how making small changes at every opportunity could transform your company.

Most businesses meet the standards or competitive norms. They do what’s expected of them. This beats many of their competitors, but it falls short of the leaders.

The word marketing finds its origin in the root “mark” and making your mark has evolved into what we know as a brand. Your brand is ideally memorable, and better yet, remarkable.

Exceptional service is remarkable. The good news for all of us is that it is repeatable too. What if you made it a central part of your marketing strategy, like Apple did with its retail stores, changing how people buy electronics?

Last week my wife and I shopped for new luggage. She travels almost every week and wanted a lighter carry-on bag. After extensive research, we narrowed it down to two companies whose products are nearly identical.

The difference maker proved to be the service we received at the first store. We left to make comparisons at the second store, only to return to the first to buy, just as they said we would. They were honest about their products and open to discussing online reviews that suggested their competitor’s products were better.

In hypercompetitive industries, it’s rarely price or product quality that wins over customers. Most people cannot readily discern quality and just as many are less concerned with price than knowing their purchase is safe. People make the difference and that’s a distinction that is rarely matched.

If your business wants to grow and build a marketable advantage then make it a practice to outservice your competitors in every way possible.

You can start by making a list of simple activities where you can give a little more.

  • Following up with emails and phone calls.
  • Showing up to appointments early, instead of on time.
  • Proactively reaching out after the sale.
  • Recommending periodic upgrades and improvements.
  • Honoring your warranties with a smile.

That kind of service compounds to build remarkable brand value in any season.

Jeff Korhan

Jeff Korhan

Jeff Korhan is the owner of True Nature Marketing, a Naples, Fla.-based company helping entrepreneurs grow. Reach him at jeff@truenature.com. Jeff works with service companies that want to drive growth and enhance their brand experience with digital platforms.

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