As digital marketers, we all have a lot invested in technological solutions. They might be content development tools, monitoring software, CRM, SEO optimizers, analytics, social media platforms, blogging tools–you name it. We spend a LOT of time and money perfecting and talking about them. An entire industry has sprung up teaching people how to “transform their business” using these tools. OK, maybe. But have we forgotten what it’s all for??
In the end, we want happy customers. The more, the better. The happier the better. Right?
So today’s story is about a local Charlottesville business, Blue Ridge Cyclery. They have been in business just under two years and are very much the new kid on the block in terms of bike shops. But in that short time, they have systematically unraveled the competitive advantage of every other shop in the area. They have landed all the best bike manufacturers. They have the busiest service department. They have become the source for the best rides. They have a great racing team. They have the nicest inventory. They have a great location. They are ubiquitous at all the cycling events locally. In short, they have won.
How have they done this so quickly? It’s simple–amazing customer service.
They take on problems other shops find too trivial or difficult. They deal with nasty warranty work. They provide an upbeat, can-do energy when you arrive. They do what they say they will do, often faster and for less than anywhere else. They are problem solvers, solutions providers, and enthusiasm generators. The result? Total loyalty, even if you feel guilty leaving your old shop. In short, they are the things you have to be FIRST if you want your marketing initiatives to work. They embody the promises we often make online to our customers, the ones we often fall way short in delivering. They don’t fall short often, and if they do, they make good.
So take a lesson, business people. Be what your customers hope (but often don’t believe) you’ll be. Deliver on your promises. Over-deliver, in fact. Exceed expectations. And be real! All the tools in the world won’t change the basic, simple fact that enchanting your customers in real life is job one.