Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Know Your Role
Many businesses struggle with this. Does yours?
Wal Mart and 7-11 know they provide terrible customer experiences. Picture yourself standing in the endless line at Wally World while the under trained employee struggles to scan and bag the basket full of goods 5 people in front of you. Meanwhile you notice that only six of the fifty available registers are manned. Or, you swing in to buy gas and need to wait in a huge line at the 7-11 to pre-pay for your gas, all the while knowing you'll need to wait in that same line again to receive your change when done filling up. Does it bother you to see the 3 or 4 employees roaming the "convenience" store while only one is serving customers? I can't name one person that loves these experiences.
So why do you and I continue to use these venues? They know their role in the market place. They have convenient locations and generally low prices. The clientele they're after are willing to trade some customer service for better prices.
Now, shop at the Buckle. You will have an employee dedicated to helping you find what you need and rarely wait to be served. However, you'll pay around $75 for an entry level pair of jeans and $30 for a t-shirt. Their customers are willing to pay a premium price for the experience they gain by shopping there.
Do you know your role? What trade are you asking your clients to make? If you require a premium price, you should provide a premium experience for your customers. If your customers will receive anything less than a premium experience, they will expect to be compensated for that in form of a lower than competitive price. Most industries have a hard time providing both the best experience and the lowest prices around. If you can't you should pick one and exploit your choice.