Why a great business beats a great product

Some of you may be thinking that a superior product should always win over a superior business. This story written by Ivan Widjaya in Small Business Trends should change your mind.


“In most businesses, return customers and word-of-mouth are what will make you successful. Using the burger analogy, let’s run with a fictional customer service scenario about two different burger joints:

Exhibit A: The first burger place (Let’s call it “McGurdy’s”). Customers are greeted with a smile and the staff is taught to take their time answering any and all questions the customer might have. Each staff member is paid above minimum wage and the atmosphere is one of teamwork and positivity.

The burgers aren’t going to be featured on Gordon Ramsay’s signature menu at Caesar’s Palace, but the health standards are excellent, the service impeccable, and the food is on par with other fast food joints.

Exhibit B: The next burger place (“The Burger Pit”) makes the best burger mankind has ever tasted. This little shop is run under the thumb of one man; a surly old fella who screams orders at his staff, who get paid the minimum pay allowed by law.

The customer service staff jumps every time the old fella yells, often interrupting the customer service flow and interaction. The old man screams at staff for “talking to customers for too long” and tells customers who complain to leave his store and never return. The health standards are impeccable under the iron rule of the old fella, service is slow and disjointed, and the burgers are a fantastic experience to say the least.

Which would you choose? Naturally, customers will choose the best burger on the planet, no? After all, the quality of the product should dictate popularity. But it doesn’t.

Customers want to feel respected and listened to. Very few return customers would go to the Burger Pit over McGurdy’s because going to get the best burger means their patience is likely to be tried to the extreme, and they might have a downright unpleasant experience. The majority will go where the combination of product quality and service are best (a “happy medium” in the absence of a business that truly has all elements of their product and service covered.)”

To read the whole post, go to http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/02/customer-service-matters.html

SCORE counselors are available locally or on-line to help you create and manage a successful business. Call us in Pinellas County at (727) 532-6800 or go online to www.pinellascounty.score.org.

Image courtesy of Thomas Laurinavicius via creative commons license.

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