This illustration is based on a flooring solution scenario for a home renovation. Not a flooring company or in home renovations? That’s OK – there’s plenty of good advice to extrapolate for your business too.
Unless your flooring company has the exclusive distribution rights to the hottest and most popular trend going, you’re vying for business just like everyone else. And if you can’t complete with mega marketing and advertising budgets of the big box stores or even the ‘other’ big floor covering companies, you need an advantage.
It struck me as I recently walked the Trade Show floors of both the IIDEX and The Fall Home Show just how many good wood flooring companies were there – and how none of them stood out/differentiated themselves. It saddened me. And, it got me thinking.
What draws a customer or designer to a Trade Show booth? First, what they see. Colours, textures, patterns. If your product colours, textures and patterns aren’t that remarkably different from another – then how do you get them to notice you?
Then I took that thinking to the general challenge any business has in a mature, crowded marketplace: How do you break through the noise to get noticed?
And then, as I heard my (less than a year old) new hardwood floor snap this morning with the new cold temperatures now upon us – I got an idea! One that I just couldn’t wait to pass on to you.
The CLIENT EXPERIENCE 2.0 will always have your answer.
The CLIENT EXPERIENCE 2.0, what’s actually happening for your client, in the moment, is the most readily available data you have before you at any time. And it’s free!
So back to my snapping hardwood floor this morning. “Everyone knows” that humidity levels are important for natural wood. I vaguely remember my floor installer telling me this immediately after the install. But I wasn’t really listening (at the time). Why wouldn’t this be important to me? I shelled out some significant coin for this site-finished floor. I’ll tell you why.
Here’s a glimpse into what I was thinking when I was sourcing a floor solution for my reno:
Esthetics (what it will look like)
- I was confused over floor types: Which one is best for my space and use?
- And then when I had settled on hardwood, I was confused over wood types: Which one is best for my space and use?
- I lacked confidence in selecting a tone/colour, so my energies from start to finish were focused on that.
- I was confused about integrating the floor choice into all other aspects of my renovation and about how it would all come together. (i.e. what comes first, floor or other features and finishes? And how will the colour match?)
- And then when it came to install, I was only concerned about how long it was going to take.
- And when it came to the end of the job, colour and quality of the install was what I focused on most.
- I was mindful of cost but not necessarily relating that to product choices and the installation portion (as separate from product choice) of that cost.
Cleaning & Maintenance
- I WAS NOT THINKING ABOUT THESE ITEMS. (including my responsibility post-install to ensure the quality and longevity of my floor and protection of my asset)
That was my EXPERIENCE. But if you’re wise, you’ll extend that to the EXPERIENCE of every homeowner having a floor installed for the FIRST TIME. And if you’re a supplier of other products and services, then you’ll extend that to the EXPERIENCE of every homeowner engaged in any aspect of renovating their home for the FIRST TIME.
CLIENT EXPERIENCE 2.0 extends to EXPERIENCE of The SUPPLIER
Now, right or wrong, when my floor snapped this morning, I went right to reflecting on my experience with the supplier I chose for this floor. And I couldn’t help thinking that if this was so important (to the longevity of my floor and to the after-sales experience of this supplier) – why didn’t he take a more active role in helping me to understand how to implement a humidity level conducive to a healthy floor?
So I ask you: Is talking about it enough?
I say: NO. Not if you want to eliminate the struggle you experience growing your business. Not if you want to innovate The CLIENT-SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIP in your business so that you both net a more profitable and enjoyable experience.
How The CLIENT EXPRIENCE 2.0 is your ANSWER to growth
Where every other supplier might talk about humidity levels. Do something about it. Think about how you can actually ensure the homeowner follows though on managing humidity levels in their home. Here are three suggestions:
- An INDOOR HUMIDITY READER (or Hygrometer as they are affectionately called) – retails for about 20 bucks. Give one to every client.
- A stand-alone room humidifier retails beginning at $100+. Give one to your client.
- A service call from a heating and cooling professional to assess humidifier solutions at source – cost varies according to supplier. Offer to pay for one.
Get the idea? And if you’re serious about this – try developing alliances with manufacturers of hygrometers and humidifiers to negotiate better costs and with heating and cooling professionals who see the big picture and are aligned with your CLIENT EXPERIENCE approach. You’ll all win.
Don’t kid yourself that your product, service or charm will stand out on its own. What’s your CLIENT EXPERIENCE advantage?
Even if you’re not in the flooring business – ask yourself this: What’s the “Humidity” conversation in my business?
Until next time … I wish you good business success.