We have explored the point of difference in a previous blog in the context of embedding it into the business recruitment process. Your point of difference is integrated into the entire business from recruitment, procedures, team culture and how you portray it to your customers. Think of this as part two of a five-part series, and this one is how to embed your point of difference into your systems and procedures so that you and your team reinforce it in everything the business does.
Nearly every business I go into understands the importance of defining their point of difference to their customers, but what some don’t quite understand is how do you deliver on this. Forgive me if you’ve heard this example before however, it runs very consistent with the message. I visited a business that had spent lots of time defining their point of difference to their customer. It was very customer-centric, and 70% was service focused. Examples I can give are, disbursing funds within 48 hours of receiving them from a tenant, returning a client call within two business hours, returning a client email within two business hours, ensuring feedback is giving within 24 hours of completing any maintenance. I won’t go on, but I’m sure you see the context. The issue this business faced is that they sent this document to every landlord in their business and didn’t change a single system, procedure or KPI to ensure they were able to deliver on this promise.
Some businesses go to extremes by writing it on the walls and reading it out loud at every staff meeting. I give those offices Kudos for enthusiasm; however, there are much easier ways to do it. Let's use a simple example, say, our point of difference is “Maximise the return for every investor.” To do this, we would need to ensure the property is never vacant. Now this is a small example, and I’m sure there are many other things we could be doing, but let’s stick to this one. We would need to have a procedure that said we should start lease renewals 60 days before the lease end date. If the tenant doesn’t renew and chooses to vacate, we would advertise the property at 30 days out from vacating date to ensure we have a tenant ready to move in within days of the old tenant vacating. Makes sense.
Let’s not stop there though. We would need a KPI to identify any properties that have not been advertised by 30 days out from vacating so prompt action can be taken. We would also need a KPI to capture any property that falls vacant while still being advertised. We would then need a procedure to deal with these edge cases once they arrive.
Once you have the procedure to support your point of difference and relevant KPIs to capture when you are not delivering, you are then able to embed the point of difference into the business, and it becomes part of the business culture. This allows the business to seamlessly deliver your promise to your clients in a sustainable way without having to work tirelessly on reminding the team. Endorsing your point of difference into your business is about delivering what you promise your clients. Once you do this, they become promoters of your business, and they become a growth tool.