Let’s take a look at your working to-do list. How long is it? How many categories does it have? How many of the items are assigned to you and finally, how many are behind schedule? Not a happy situation for either you or your company. What if you changed how you prioritized these issues by the impact they’ll have on your customers and how they’ll work to differentiate your business in the marketplace?
It is easy for companies to get wrapped up in trying to do the right things, the things they think matter, but forget to include a customers’ perspective. How will this make their experience better, how will this save time for them and how will you effectively communicate this added value. Will these initiatives give them something that will actually make a difference to their company or to them and will you benefit from being able to either charge more or by being more efficient and increase your profitability? Finally, will enough customers flock to it or only respond with a “that’s nice.”
I’m not suggesting that the items on your list aren’t worthwhile and necessary. Rather, just asking you to consider re-prioritizing your list to emphasize which ones make a positive impact, and a real difference to your customers.
Differentiate – But Avoid the “Me Too”
I recently wrote about changing the game for your business. Getting trapped into providing new services just because your three main competitors do might be for the wrong reason. Furthermore, the message can sometimes get blurred into the “see, we’re just like them!” Don’t get caught in the “I can’t see any additional value that you’re bringing to the table so I guess it just comes down to who made the biggest mistake in the estimate” situation. Not a great strategy. If you’re working on products and services that are solving customer problems, making it easier to do business with you and helping to grow their business, and you frame it as such, you’ve got a better chance of stepping out of the crowd, being different on purpose and reaping the benefits of such.
Just Three Things
The hard part for most of us is focus (especially for me). Are you focused on manufacturing or capabilities or perhaps your workflow? Maybe your focus is on amazing your customers every time they engage with you. From a different angle, are you a production centric or client centric business? Maybe you’ll say it’s all the same but in looking at both ends of the spectrum, the production oriented company often views engaging with clients as a necessary evil whereas the client centric business is consumed with how can they help make their customers better through the products and services that they provide for them. Pick three things that are on your action item list that you think will make an impact on your customers and the relationship you enjoy with them. Focus, get them started and see for yourself how your results could change. Best of luck and let me know how you’re doing with this.