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Editor's Notebook

Competitive Edge in 2021: Sharpen Your ‘People’ Focus

As you welcome the new year and modify your business strategies to achieve your goals and boost profitability, there are a few notable differentiators you should not overlook. They serve as a platform to build customer trust and confidence and work continually behind the scenes to provide positive implications and competitive advantages for your business in the new year.

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One such differentiator comes from Steve Ferrante, CEO of Sale Away LLC/Pinnacle Performance Training and a longtime contributor to Tire Review, who emphasizes the importance of routinely delivering exceptional customer service so that your customers’ service experience is not only outstanding but memorable. His takeaway: In every case, the customer’s perception is your reality. If they feel they had a sub-standard customer experience, then the bottom line is that they did. With that in mind, he advises that everything your business does, and every decision you make, should be based on asking yourself, “How will this look from the customer’s point-of-view?” and “How will this make customers feel?

For more advice from Steve on related topics like workplace culture, training your team to use a true “sales process” when interacting with customers and measuring performance to boost results, take a look at his article “Top Lessons from 10 Years of Selling Smart” column.

Sharing a related example from another one of our industry’s high achievers, Jim Stocking of Park Tire Company, recently named the 2021 K&M Tire Top Shop winner, is a stickler for culture and how his employees are treated. He says that treating his team like family boosts employee morale and productivity, sharpens their focus and fosters a spirit of cooperation. When employees are happy and feel like they’re appreciated, they’re going to work harder to make the business more successful because they have a vested interest in it, he advises.

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Stocking also has a long-standing belief that customers must also be treated like they are part of your family. “We want our customers to not only have an amazing first experience in our shop, but we want them to return to us for years to come,” he says, noting that many of Park Tire’s clientele have been customers for several decades. “We really try to make customers know that we appreciate them, and, without them, there wouldn’t be a Park Tire.”

Think about this advice as you continue to work on winning ways to achieve even greater success this year. Every effort you invest to ensure that both your employees and your customers are held in the highest regard will return to you with multiplying dividends in the form of customer appreciation, loyalty, trust and referrals, and employee commitment, pride, teamwork and ownership. This is still a people business, so let that be your focus in 2021.

To read the full January 2021 issue, click here.

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