August 24, 2016
Differentiation Is Offering More Than Quality Products
by Erin Johnson
Across the window and door landscape, there are innumerable options when it comes to selecting a product if you’re a builder or homeowner. Vinyl or composite? Single or double pane? The list goes on.
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Of course, that’s easy for those of us who make windows and doors to say. Sometimes to the customer, a window is a window. A door is a door. Similarly, sometimes our customers know exactly what they want—one specific type of window with a combination of attributes they’ve come to know, trust and use regularly—and they know who to get it from. The latest innovations don’t matter as much as a reliable supplier who can meet a set of needs.
As we’ve learned at Quanex over the years, one of the best ways to accomplish that last part—being trusted to meet a variety of needs—comes with offering more than just a high-quality product. It’s done by offering a variety of services that benefit our customers’ businesses.
For instance, we’re able to supply our window component customers with marketing support if they choose, extending our marketing expertise and experience to help those customers excel. Additionally, we offer informational databases to provide customers with region-specific market trends and information for valuable add-on business insights.
That added value matters. Here are some ways that you can think about differentiating and offering more than just your products:
Focus on Your Strengths. There’s a good chance the people who make your company run smoothly have other talents and professional skills beyond the day-to-day of making windows. Think about how you can extend those skills to benefit the customer, and consider formalizing that expertise as an add-on service.
Fill a Customer Need. If you’ve developed a good working relationship with your customers, chances are you’ve picked up on some pain points. Though they may not be directly associated with your products or services, it doesn’t mean you can’t help.
Communicate. If you’re offering a value-added service, you need to make sure your customers know about it. Consider developing additional communications to your customer base to inform them that you’re offering a service—beyond the product they’re already buying—that may be able to help their business.
Has your company expanded its services in order to differentiate itself beyond product? I’d love to hear strategies that have worked for you. Let me know by emailing me directly at Erin.Johnson@Quanex.com.