Is There A Better Way?
This is not a rhetorical question; you should set aside time and seriously deliberate.
I am referring to your business and how it is set up.
Are you part of the crowd, or do you stand apart?
Are you doing things in your business to massively increase value to your customers in such a way, or are you just delivering the same as everybody else?
The market will always find its level.
If you are the fourth IT services company in your locale, the market will deliver about a quarter of the available customer base.
Of course, you may network and find and retain other customers via word of mouth. However, I have never seen a local business owner become prosperous from word-of-mouth marketing or allowing the market to find them.
No, to succeed, you must stand out from the crowd and create a market sector you own and can build on.
Every day I speak to new and established businesses that are ‘getting by’ because they are just the same as all their competitors but promote that their service is excellent, they care more etc. Side Note here. Do you think your competitors promote the fact that they will provide crap service or don’t care? No, I didn’t think so.
It is arrogant and delusional to think, therefore, that your business deserves more.
I was reminded of this recently when my car messaged me to say service would contact me due to an issue with charging and mileage reduction.
In 2016 I decided to buy a Tesla Model S. They were rare then, and I was told my shiny new red arrival was only the second in the country of the new facelift.
I do like a gadget and am an early adopter.
I soon realised that Elon had asked, “Is there a better way”.
He had no legacy to build on and created not only a new car from scratch but, more importantly, a new company that did and still does everything differently to benefit its customers and bottom line.
Fast forward to today, and you must have lived under a rock to have not seen, been in, looked at or even driven one.
But I wanted to talk about something else; the better way was everything that Tesla does.
Two years ago, I returned to the Tesla family after a brief dalliance with a non-electric car.
I’m explaining my journey to you to show how different my experience has been from a typical car company.
First, since 2016, numerous car manufacturers have released electric cars; honestly, my head was turned by some of the options. However, one thing that stopped me from choosing Tesla was the Super Charger network. Elon was a genius for creating a new car and thinking if there was a better way to charge them. His answer was yes, let’s create a global network of Tesla Super Chargers and leave the other manufacturers to fight for the general network.
Second was my purchasing of the vehicle. All done online. Choose your exterior/interior colours, choose the variant, choose the wheels, and press order. No test drive.
How would that work? Simple if after a set amount of time, you didn’t like your new Tesla, you can return it. Keeping the number of variants low meant nobody could order a Barbie Pink version with pink seats and pink brake callipers. No, it was red, blue, grey, white, or black.
So, a new car was ordered online. The pickup date was emailed to me, and I went to collect it.
Do I go to an extensive, costly showroom to pick it up? No, there was a better way. I drive to a destination after watching around half a dozen videos, and in a car park at Lakeside are hundreds of Teslas, all waiting to be picked up.
I inform a concierge of my name and show some ID. I am led to my car, asked to check it over, and asked if I need help with the controls, demonstrated how to download my Tesla app and drive off. All in 30 mins. At that site was one concierge and a couple of technical bodies.
Let’s fast forward a couple of years, as I did not need anything from Tesla since my pickup until my car informed me that it required servicing due to a battery error.
I expected to call their service department, wait in a queue, explain I may need a replacement vehicle, and be inconvenienced.
But no, there was a better way. My Tesla app (did I forget to mention there are no keys with a Tesla) messaged me within an hour of the service message to say my car was booked and a replacement car would be provided as it was a longer job. It gave me a date and location to take my car to on a specific date. All I had to do was click OK.
The date arrived, and I drove to the destination that automatically appeared in my Tesla Navigator. On arrival, after getting out of my car. My app reminded me to remove all my belongings, and then, after confirming the drop-off, my app changed to a new loaner car indicating the registration number.
I didn’t need to meet or see anybody; I could if I wanted to. I now drive off in my new loaner car.
Later that afternoon, I got a message indicating my car was in the workshop and informing me of the estimated return date when I would repeat the process, this time dropping off my loaner and picking up my car.
So effortless, so quick, so efficient. So, a much better way.
Looking at the Tesla business model, what does it mean. Low overheads due to fewer premises and lower numbers of staff required. Excellent consistency due to systemised processes that work every time. The scalability is off the chart as very few additional requirements are needed to grow a market
It would have been straightforward for Elon to build a fantastic futuristic car in the early days of Tesla and build a traditional car manufacturer operation behind it. But no, everything that Tesla has done was a better way.
From my initial order processing to the pickup to the ongoing updating of the software with new features and benefits, the monitoring of the car, the servicing, and everything surrounding the customer journey.
Elon and his team decided there was a better way and created it.
Now I know we are not Elon or have his money. But that does not stop us from looking at everything we do, from the products and services we sell or supply to the interactions with our customers, our pricing models, our delivery mechanisms, our customer segmentation, our bundled offers and so on…
All it takes is to take time out, look at our competitors and ask, “Is there a better way”?
I have discovered that companies that succeed and continually innovate tend to fall in love with their customers rather than the products and services they supply. They are constantly asking, “Is there a better way.”