The last time you were looking for a solution to a problem you probably overlooked the obvious fix. People do it all of the time. They ignore the evident answer and go for the one that lies further afield instead.
That said, there are exceptions to this rule. One of the best illustrations is diapers.com, a company where simple and direct reign supreme. Diapers.com became a 540 million dollar company by a simple return to fundamentals. No mind-blowing elevator speech, social media marketing, or price slashing involved, diapers.com got itself sold to Amazon all with quick and free shipping, a fair return policy, and a user-friendly communication system.
On its face diapers.com and its sister sites provide diapers, dog food and cleaning supplies, but scratch the surface and it readily becomes clear that they actually do much more. Their true function is to make their customers happier and their lives easier. The diapers.com experience is focused solely on the consumer even when it may result in a short-term cost to the company. Diapers.com makes their clients feel authentically and deeply cared about.
There you have it. That is your blueprint. While the diapers.com system may not be perfectly suited to you (to uncover your optimum strategy we would have to explore your unique circumstances), the framework provides an excellent starting point.
Whether you are a lawyer, a CEO, or a financial advisor your challenge is to genuinely and selflessly care about the people you serve. You don’t have to brand yourself, have a sexy product (there’s nothing sexy about yo-yos), or embrace search engine optimization. You just have to put 100% of your effort into caring about your client’s well-being and putting your own agenda on hold. In practice this may mean writing off part of your bill because your client doesn’t think she got her money’s worth. It could also mean waiving a fee when your customer thinks it is excessive or seeing your client after hours because that is the time that works best for her.
This give-more-than-you-receive approach may not be immediately gratifying or particularly cutting edge, but it is the only way for you to get where you want to go in a big way (whether that is large market share, seven-digit income, or an excellent reputation). All of today’s giants (Amazon, Disney World, Southwest) understand that the money is made in the gestures. They know that if you want to increase profits by hundreds of thousands of dollars, your focus must be on your customer to the same degree.
If you want to play in the big league stop asking, “How can I increase profits?” The real question is, “Am I prepared to put my clients’ needs above my own? “ In today’s marketplace, doing that is a rarity for which you will be paid handsomely. Some might even say it is “priceless.”
Don’t be shy! Here’s your chance to weigh in. Do you embrace the simple solution or elect the more complicated path? What do you do that has your clients singing your praises? Do you agree that an emphasis on customer service is an effective business model? If not, what techniques generate a higher rate of return? Tell us how you really feel in the comments below.