How do your clients and prospects distinguish you from your competitors? It comes down to one simple concept: Is your offer focused on delivery or service?
“Profit is the reward of service." - Henry Ford
Professional Services industries have significant potential built right into their business. When service is truly at the heart of your work, your business will thrive. The problem is, many professional service providers are more focused on delivery than service and their business results show it.
How many times have you been out for lunch or dinner, and the server asks you, “Would you like something to drink?” This is delivery.
Alternatively, you’ve also had the experience where your server says something like, “Here is our wine and beverage list. We also have a Reserve Wine Menu if that’s of interest. Would you like a few minutes or can I help you choose something now?” This is service.
What’s the difference?
- Delivery is rational and focused on the process.
- Service touches emotions and creates memorable experiences.
In our fast-paced, growth-oriented business culture, the qualities that distinguish Delivery and Service have become blurred. Like all ambitious entrepreneurs, services professionals are motivated to grow their incomes annually. But they are a people-based business, and are limited by time. Their desire to leverage talent and increase revenues often leads to developing systems that require less human capital. Ultimately, this strategy de-humanizes the client relationship as well.
- Delivery can be automated, systematized and designed to be efficient. And it should be. Service, however, cannot be delivered en masse.
- Services require personal connection and the human touch. To be truly 'in service' you need time and the inclination to care. And this is where opportunities are lost … every single day.
There is no doubt that driving efficiency and meeting client expectations will keep your business alive. But you’ll never get out of the race. You’ll always have the pressure of competition right on your heels, incessantly nipping away and reminding you that you need to keep running.
To elevate your business to higher levels of success, and out-shine your competition, use systems for efficiency, but design your business to create emotional connections and touch people at a very human level. When your clients experience tears, goosebumps and uncontainable joy, these are clues that you are well on your way to a more profitable and more fulfilling business relationship … for you and your clients.
Your greatest opportunities are built on your strongest relationships. How can you adjust your offer and return to the Services Business so that you reach higher levels of success?