What's on Annie's mind this week? Does my dog need glasses?

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This week I want you to start thinking about how your service or product is unique. Why do your customers choose you over your competition? How do you do it better that anyone else? For example did you know that there are over 13 dog glasses/goggles on the market (I just googled dog goggle). So how do you stand out as the best dog goggle maker? How unique and special is your product compared to XYZ Company that charges less and has more customers? Why would your customers chose your dog goggles over XYZ Company's goggles?

Maybe your product or service is not unique as a space unicorn or a purple-people eater or dog goggles but it must be unique or you would not be in business...it is about time to embrace your genius. 

I think every business, really, has a unique reason for being, unique assets, unique attributes, a unique history. And that can be turned into a very attractive design story, essentially, that consumers can relate to. ~Yves Behar

How do you stand out flying your ‘unique’ flag? One way is to deliver your service or product a different way. Maybe you have improved or enhanced your industry or your product niche to make it more accessible, attainable or affordable to your customers? Every business out there has its own personality and influence in the market. Or why else would you be doing what you do?

Have you ever taken a moment and thought about how many coffee shops, patio chairs or auto part stores there are in the world? Well, since I live in the Pacific NW there are thousands of coffee shops but I have loyalty to three coffee shops. Only 3. You can find me working at Creama, Coava Coffee or Starbucks on a weekly basis. Creama if I am close by the house, Coava Coffee if I am close to the podcast studio or Starbucks if I am outside of my ‘home zone’ or traveling. Why? Because I know that the coffee and food is going to be the highest quality, the customer service is always awesome and the atmosphere makes it easy for me to concentrate and #getshitdone.

Here are some tips I have learned by keeping my eyes and ears open, visiting my favorite coffee shops:

  • Always provide kick-ass & mythical customer service.
    • Treat your customers as you would like to be treated, period. Everyone has an expectation of amazing service and will put you on blast online, to friends and coworkers if it does not meet their expectations. Around 75% of customers state that they consider customer service a true test of a company’s competence (Forbes Magazine, February 2017). 
  • Build stronger relationships.
    • If one of your customers had even one bad experience that remains unresolved, they will not only write-off your company but will spread their experience through social media and word of mouth. If you make a mistake, own up to it and fix it immediately. I have watched people argue with people about their personal experience. How can you argue with my personal experience?
  • Continue to create!
    • Continue to reinvent your company by adopting emerging technologies and introducing new processes, products and solutions. Make use of social media and mobile apps as a growing number of buyers prefer to find and work with you through their phones. Come up with unique ideas that have made a lasting impression.
  • Be socially responsible. 
    • Your number one priority is not to take care of its core stakeholders such as customers, employees and owners...you need to take care of your community. I believe that businesses should give back to society as well as give amazing customer service and products. Adding this element will help you stay in customers’ minds, improve goodwill, and bring in more revenue.
  • Be honest.
    • Surprising I am bringing this up? A common form of dishonesty is failing to share bad news, if you share it quickly customers will respect you more. Maybe you cannot deliver by a due date, let your customer know. Lying to a customer is like shooting yourself in the foot. Remember that we are building strong and lifelong relationships.

How are you going to fly your unique flag?