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It's Not About Your Product - It's About the People Who Use It!

by Stephen J. Gehlert, Executive Director

It's Not About Your Product
It's About the People Who Use It!

An OFDA Board Member recently gave me the book "What Customers Really Want", by Scott McKain. This is an exceptional book for every business entity and especially for service providers. In my next couple of newsletter articles, I am going to discuss the six basic principles of this book or what the author describes as the Fundamental Disconnects of Business today.

The basic premise we will explore from the book is the fact consumers "desire a Connection with the people and organizations they do business with so the outcome is a Compelling Experience that transcends mere transactions.

This simply means families want you to care for them and they want to believe you worry about them as much as you do about your business.

The author uses the book written by Lance Armstrong (It's Not About The Bike) as an example. He says it's not about the bike it is about the person riding it. In other words it's not about your product it is about the people who use it and who you serve.

In order to get his point across Mr. McKain stresses there are six major "Disconnections" between business and the customers they serve. He breaks these Disconnections down in the following graph:

What Customers Really Want - What Business Supplies
1. Compelling Experience - Customer Service
2. Personal Focus - Product Focus
3. Reciprocal Loyalty - Endless Prospecting
4. Differentiation - Sameness
5. Coordination - Confusion
6. Innovation - Status Quo

As we examine each of these "Disconnections" in future issues of the newsletter, we will examine basic principles
such as:

* Processing customers vs. serving families
* Promoting products vs. empathetic service
* Prospecting for new clients vs. enhancing family loyalty
* What is different about the experience at your business from your competitors?
* Do you and your staff truly help families understand a funeral or do you overwhelm them with technical issues?
* What is unique about your services vs. everyone else?

As we discuss these issues in the future think about how you and your staff relate to the families you serve. By honestly evaluating your service culture, you can create a funeral experience for families you serve that is personal, compelling, innovative, and one that always stresses the dignity of life and death.

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