I’ve been reading books around me and looking at the businesses that happen in our daily lives. I think that plenty could be learnt by rethinking about the way businesses are done. Besides, businesses can improve through looking at the feedback given, and discovering what customers want.
Today I read a little passage in a book I borrowed from the library. It was talking about the plumbing industry, and how one company managed to distinguish itself from its competitors and even charge a higher price. The lesson to learn here is to know what customers want, and give it to them. It’s like a value add for customers.
Many times we have ordered contractor services and they turn up in a old polo tee with many holes and stains, and pants of the same condition. They come with dirty feet, walking about in your home and after that you have to clean and mop the places they stepped because there were stains. Hence, in this view, the plumbing company in the passage decided to focus on cleanliness.
The plumber arrives in a neat and clean attire, and does his work. After finishing his work, he cleans up the surrounding areas such that it is even cleaner than when he first arrived. As such, customers are happy with the service, and they are willing to pay a little more for such standards.
I’m wondering why that in Singapore, nobody has seemed to be bothered to do such a thing. It’s almost like an old industry having no new blood flowing in to give newer ideas to revolutionise the industry and give it a cleaner, professional image. One that commands confidence and trust in customers. I think that for every businesses, it is important to self reflect every year and see what can be improved. In what way can they bring better value to customers to distinguish themselves from others.
On a side note, my house is undergoing renovation beginning from today, and the contractor has already caused some unhappiness and irritation. This is because the planning for the renovation was screwed up. Since they have to do the flooring in my room, I have to move all furniture and belongings out before they work on it. Today is Tuesday, and now they come telling us that the flooring would be done on Friday. If they had planned earlier and make it more effective, we would have not needed to inconvenience ourselves for that many days. We could only bring out the furniture on Thursday instead of on Monday. That’s a 4 days inconvenience we do not need.
Hence it is important to know how customers feel, because if they are not satisfied with your service, they will never recommend it to anyone else, and customer’s word of mouth approval is very important. It is especially so when there are numerous contractor firms out there with no real differentiation.
I hope such lessons would help anyone that’s reading this. 🙂