Results. Heroes. Ego.
What do your customers want? Results. Heroes. And to feel good about themselves (Ego). Your business doesn’t have to deliver all three, but you need to give them at least one or you won't be in business for very long.
Every single one of your customers wants Results. It's expected when we do business with you. A return on our investment in you. A problem solved. Sales growth. An unclogged pipe. A delicious meal. This is where every small business begins their day, and if you’re going to survive until tomorrow, this is where every small business ends it. Delivering Results a good start, but it doesn't really help you stand out in Kansas City.
Now we're talking. Kansas City is looking for heroes. Being a business hero is much more difficult to measure (and to find), but Heroes leave a more compelling impression. Heroism is the good stuff that gets shared. Heroes shatter your customers’ expectations. Throwing in floor mats with a new car purchase. Returning a call after hours or on the weekend. Not just going the extra mile, but working more passionately for your customer than they are willing to work for themselves (Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care comes to mind). Heroism can take many forms, but it always makes a lasting connection and leaves a great impression. This is the stuff marketing legends are made of.
The third thing everyone wants from any Kansas City business is to have their ego stroked. Right? I mean, who doesn’t want to feel appreciated? Stereotypically this is the playground of upscale companies, but every business can profit from customer service that makes their customers the center of the known universe. Sometimes it can be as simple as always delivering a smile. Sometimes it’s just enough to be associated with your company that strokes the ego of your customers (in Kansas City think The Royals or Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts). Ego can come in many forms, but it’s always compelling, and memorable (and more magicial advertising content).
Most small businesses will focus their attention and efforts on delivering Results. That’s an important. That's a must have. But it's a bare-bones basic goal. If you really want your company to roar this year, commit to delivering Heroes or Ego (or both).