Once while working for a construction company, I was contacted by a customer who had second thoughts about the work they had contracted. It seems a competitor told them they were spending too much. The owner of the construction company took the time to explain the quality of the work from his full-time employee installation team, and the top-notch materials he was using. What makes a product great? It’s the people and the plan.
He told the consumer if he used cheaper materials and subcontractors, he could charge less but he wouldn’t. He wouldn’t feel good about the job if he did less than what was his team’s best. Then he offered to complete the installation and let the customer decide if it was worth the money. He told the customer he would accept any payment the customer thought was fair. He believed in his product. The customer paid in full at completion. The owner believed in his product, and so did his team.
It’s The People
What makes a product, B2B, B2C, or NFP great? I believe it’s the people behind the product. Are they passionate about what they do? Are they personally invested sharing their time and energy? Do they believe in their product, service, or the problems they solve? Do they take pride in making the best possible product? Do they put the customer first? Are there champions, even zealots among the tribe who want everyone to experience their product or service?
But How Can a Consumer Know if the Product is Worthy?
Vetting a product and provider begins with research and continues with follow through.
“Let me ask you a question. When you’re considering a company for a product or service where do you begin the vetting process? Is it online? And if it is online what do you look for? Do you search for reviews and testimonials? The vast majority of consumers and businesses do the same. For example, a company searching for our product will likely review us online five or six times before making contact.” — How Important are Reviews for your Business?
According to this Marketing land survey, “90% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.” And this The State of Demand Pardot 2013 white paper states that “…71.6 of B2B customers use Google search to find businesses.”
Check the Product or Work
Can the product be viewed at a brick and mortar outlet? If so, check it out. If it’s a service, then ask to see their work. Should customer testimonials be trusted? If there are enough, they might be a good indicator.
How about buying the product to learn if it’s any good? That would definitely work, but unfortunately it’s how we learn the good and bad about too many products — at a cost to ourselves.
Should we visit the company, warehouse, retail outlet, and staff? That’s probably not very practical, but it could be fun and informative.
Ask to See the Warranty
I remember asking a provider of home remodeling products about their warranty. He told me it was a lifetime warranty that would cover the product as long as I lived in the home, and if I ever sold the house, I could transfer it one time, which he said could be an important selling tool.
I asked what the warranty covered, and he told me every part of the product was under warranty. And then I asked about the installation of warranty products and learned I had to pay for installation of any warranty service.
The warranty was strictly from the manufacturer not the provider or the subcontractor who installed it. Neither the provider nor subcontractor had skin in the game, and therefore little to worry about as far as the quality of installation and warranty claims. If there was a claim, they could profit from it.
“What does full service mean? What is a full service provider? President Harry S. Truman might have said it best when he said, ‘the buck stops here.’ For providers who offer full service, it’s difficult to pass the buck. If a company does it all, who can they pass the buck to?” What is a Full Service Provider?
Check Employee Workplace Reviews
Why would anyone check workplace reviews? What makes a product great? It’s the people and how they stand behind it. When employees have a mission and vision, they deliver the best goods possible. And when they don’t … well, they don’t care about the product, do they?
So, What Makes a Product Great?
What makes a product outstanding are the people behind it. After that everything follows. Teammates who care translates to well-made products, great customer service, and superior installation. Is your product great, if not it begins with you and your team.
Photo Credit: Image: Author: rawpixel ID: 3370836 Provider: Pixabay