Suppose you own an accounting business. Most people think that people go to an accountant for their accuracy and knowledge of tax laws. Wrong. Those are simply ‘gimme’s’ That’s the price of admission, you can’t be an accountant without that. No people, business owners go to their accountant so they don’t have to worry about this part of their business.
Many accounting firms set up their environment to look professional and serious, What their customers want is to feel comforted. For many, talking about their numbers is stressful and being made to feel intimidated only makes that experience worse. An accountant’s customer is served & delighted when they feel heard, and feel reassured by having all their questions answered. They want to feel like their accountant is part of their team and working with them. Those customers will gladly pay a premium for having that part of their business handled in a way that makes them feel reassured.
Think of the different places you have been to get your hair done. I take my sons to a no-nonsense, no appointment, no frills place because they want to be in and out as fast as possible. They don’t want anyone fussing with them.
On the other hand, I want a place where the decor is just funky enough. They hand me a cup of comforting tea and the stylist takes the time to play with my hair a bit to give me advice about what kind of cut I should have. I am hopeless about that. I want the hair washing and the scalp massage. For me, this is part of my self-care. I want the whole experience. I expect to pay more for that and I do happily.
Do you see how the environment feeds the experience which sets the tone for the value exchange. The more you give your customer exactly what she wants, the more you can charge and the more profit you will make.
You can’t be the hair place that is the cheapest in Town and give people comforting tea. They won’t appreciate it. They want to get in and out. On the other hand, you can’t be the place with the decor, the tea and the time for consults and be among the cheapest in Town. For one thing, you won’t be able to afford the stylists who can deliver that service. They don’t come cheap, nor should they.
What is most important to your customers? How do you use those levers of environment, experience and value exchange to deliver that?
Do you want to know more about how to operate your small business? Get the Small Business Operating System (SB/OS) Workbook here.