Last Updated on 1 March 2017

Taking your business from good → to great → to remarkable can seem a daunting task. But, it may be easier than you think.

The bad news from a customer perspective is that companies aren’t doing the basics properly, let alone getting to remarkable. Customers hopes are high, but expectations low. This bad news is good news for your company. With expectations so low, simply doing what you’re supposed to do (the basics) may set you apart from the competition.

Breaking it down to basics, you’ll realize customers are looking for:

  • The product/service they want,
  • with the right performance/quality,
  • in an environment they expect,
  • in a convenient location,
  • supported with the right level of service, and
  • with good value for the money.

And this all needs to be Goldilocks-style. “Too little” and the customer will feel cheated and unhappy. “Too much” and they’ll feel they’re paying more than they need.

Let’s take a deeper look into this…

The Product/Service They Want
As a customer, I want the product when I want it. I need it to what I want it to do. The way I want to do it. I’m willing to learn a little to use the product. But, too much of a learning curve… I lose interest. Isn’t there a company that makes a simpler one? It needs to be “just right.”

I want the product to match my perceived level of quality. I want it to do the type of things I expect it to do. If the ‘ice crusher blade’ doesn’t crush ice – that’s a problem.
Your business should be easy to find. Your website should be easy to navigate. Your menu should be easy to read. If I have to use my car to get to you – you should provide parking. Your hours should revolve around my hours (after all, you are targeting me).
When I get to your office or website, I’ll lose confidence if it is junky, cheesy, broken, or unprofessional. In brick or click store, I want to be able to find things easily. I don’t want to poke around to find pricing, product details, and the information that helps me make my decision. If you make me do this, I will go to someone who doesn’t make me jump through hoops.
Service can be human-to-human: a knowledgeable salesperson to explain the difference between two televisions. Alternately, a salesperson leaving me alone. It can be as simple as a smile and a genuine “thank you for coming” from the hostess as you leave the restaurant.

Service may also refer to the post-purchase service of a built-in warranty, guarantee, or easy to buy replacement parts. It also means not abusing trust. Don’t try to trick me into buying your warranty – if I don’t really need it. And, yes, I signed up for your newsletter. But that doesn’t give you permission to send me spam.

I want to feel I paid enough – or even better – NOT enough for your product or service. Ultimately, you want customers to feel they’re getting a steal. The secret to “value for the money” is, people are willing to pay more if you’re doing all the other things properly and consistently.

How often do you get the:
[×] right quality of
[×] what you want,
[×] where you need it, with the
[×] right support, at a
[×] fair price?

You’ll notice there’s nothing remarkable about anything on that list. However, if you do them all, at the same time, and consistently, you can be remarkable.

What Now?

To get started, consider running through this list with each of your business categories, products, and services.

Here’s an example Starbucks Coffee could use it to explore their core coffee products. (brewed/espresso drinks)

Product/Service They Want
Coffee (brewed / espresso beverages)
With the Right Performance / Quality
Fresh Brewed, Hot, Great Tasting. If a latte, with a properly pulled espresso shot and fresh steamed, (to the proper temperature) milk.
In A Convenient Location
Away from home. In Transit.
Expected Environment
An orderly store that looks and feels clean. With clean tables. That smells good, like coffee, not burnt milk. At the right temperature, warm in the winter, cool in the summer.
Right Level of Service
Order taken politely. Money taken graciously. Beverage prepared properly. (That’s the secret to success, right there!)
Value for Money
Do the above consistently. Once in a while try to “surprise and delight” the customer. Be a responsible, contributing member of our local and global communities. With this we will support our mission of creating “enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.”

That’s pretty clear, huh? It spans the whole experience. It also involves many departments from the company. For this Starbucks example it involves: the beverage team, real estate, store development, training, operations, and marketing. And, most of it is accomplished locally, by the local teams — not the folks sitting at headquarters in Seattle.

Here’s a random, relevant example. In proofreading this article, I used the build-in dictionary function in my Mac to look up a synonym for “daunting task” (up there in my opening sentence).

The word daunting didn’t sound natural. I thought formidable may work better.

But look at the Word Toolkit (pictured below) presented by the Apple thesaurus. It indicated that formidable refers more to something physical: opponent, competitor, barrier. Daunting is the right word to describe a task or challenge. When I click on daunting, Word Toolkit links me synonyms, such as: intimidating, unnerving, and dismaying.

Wow. That was more service than I expected. When I didn’t even know I needed it!

This article was originally published on the Marketing Profs Daily Fix Blog