It was said to me years ago that people will pay for what they want. In business, whether service-based or product-based, people will pay for what they want. The question that we the small businesses, large companies, and mega-corps will ALL have to ask is what do these people (AKA the customer) want. Each industry has an overlap between service and product. Diesel Training Grounds is a service based company. Our product is expertise in Martial Arts, Athletic Development, and General Fitness; we GET PEOPLE IN SHAPE. We are service-based since we are relationship based. The student, athlete, client, customer, member is a person; that person deserves a good relationship with us as well.
Without going into specifics, one fitness equipment manufacturer turned us off to them because of their poor customer service. It’s a shame really since ALL the equipment here is from that manufacturer. I had an issue with some dumbbells and the service agent on the other side was condescending, rude, and downright UNPROFESSIONAL. She forgot or doesn’t know that product and service overlap…I feel bad for here clients; she also said she was a personal trainer. EVEN if she could not help…she should have realized that it’s not necessarily what is said, it’s how.
The 2nd company is a delivery service. While customer service was better, delivery was not. It’s a shame since we have been using this company almost a year. There had been several missed deliveries. I could deal with that; reschedule them. The issue here is that when I had asked for delivery, a time was not set, and….AND…they delivery person left the product on the sidewalk, blocking my door. Hmm, martial arts school at street level, no other entrances, no foyers, nothing to prevent the theft or tampering of the product I provide during class. Again, service and product overlap disregarded.
Both companies have lost my business. Too bad, I am a creature of habit and will opt for the familiar until pushed otherwise. In business for almost 4 years; I have learned that people just want a professional (whatever is customary in said industry), relationship driven, and valuable service and/or product. Those 3 components surely will guarantee repeat business, referrals, and fiscal success in the long run.