See past CSC Edge issues here!
MY REAL PRODUCT
Well what is the latest business success buzzword? Is it E Commerce? Is it outsourcing? Is it diversity? Is it cost cutting measures? Is it improved employee loyalty? There are always many new ideas each time that a new business year comes around as we all try some different approaches to success. One thing that is always a given is that we have to try new things to grow and prosper. Well maybe the biggest key to success for some is to understand the real product that your company brings to market and constantly strive to make it better.
It all starts with realizing the true definition of your product. For many we describe our product as a whole series of physical products that we sell and service. Are these really examples of your product? If they are, then you probably won’t have any real major impact on product changes in the near future that can truly affect your growth and bottomline. Then how do we improve sales and profitability? How do we improve our real product and sell more?
I would suggest that you define your product from the Customers viewpoint. Ask them what your product really is and I think you might get a different and perhaps refreshing view of your real product. You might sell a physical product, but you really offer a company providing many things that all become an inherent part of your defined product. Last year your Customers purchased many commodities but they also made conscious decisions not to buy some companies or their products. The reason for success or failure lies with the way that your Customers view your company as a product. Do they like your people? Do they like your service? Do they like your facility? Do they like your honesty? Do they like your reputation? Do you always deliver more than you promise?
The Certified Service Center criteria calls for a customer feedback program that helps determine how your customers view your strengths and weaknesses. These surveys no matter how they are collected help determine how your customers view your company and what they see as your strengths and weaknesses. These programs help you define your company based on your customer’s opinions and allow you to make the changes necessary to improve your customers perceived value and in return improve their loyalty to your company. This is a key initiative that will help you with a key goal for success each and every year, Improved Customer Loyalty.
The real goal is to look at the real product and make it stronger and even go past that to expanding your involvement with the Customers who pay the bills. I would imagine that a lot of your customer loyalty is based on things other than the tangible products that you sell. Can you leverage these strengths in other areas and expand your involvement with your customers? No new products to hype like everyone else, just a new way of viewing the critical product features that you offer Customers.
Customers are all making their own business plans based on a lot of factors and they may include some drastic changes that might impact your company. The universal way to overcome these concerns is to give them even more value in the future. The word value is often over used but always a key ingredient in business decisions. Find the value in your real product and try to enhance it this year. If it’s not there, build it. If it is there, then get more for it by using it to leverage new business opportunities with your existing Customer base. Your existing Customers are usually the best place to profitably grow your business. Make your real product as defined by your customers the best that exists out there and enjoy another successful year.