We often get asked by various people: "What makes you different?"
Differentiation is obviously important and being able to stand out from the crowd is a matter of life and death for businesses today. As PipelineDeals grows and the number of customers multiply, we have the good "problem" of deciding how best to meet our customer’s needs. For starters we endeavor to put out a superior product that constantly evolves and improves. Second, we provide timely and relevant self-help. Lastly, and something that is a core tenet of ours, is to provide superior service from awesome people.
PipelineDeals differentiates itself with an arguably pedestrian and simple strategy: Go Human. Yes, we are technologists and enjoy working with technology, however our belief is that too many software and technology companies view technology as the cure all. The famous Abraham Maslow Golden Hammer concept comes to mind: "When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail".
Technology is increasingly seen as that Golden Hammer. Google is a perfect example of this problem – ever see a phone number for GMail support? No way. Google Applications support? Nope. Google Checkout support? Uh, no. There is an implied and unspoken technology-driven snobbery (maybe even elitism) that tells customers: If you can’t figure it out you must be stupid and we don’t value you. Software can be imitated, people and the relationships they build cannot. As PipelineDeals competes among behemoths like Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle, we can provide a level of service that they can’t even touch and we plan to keep it that way. Try us – give us a call, Skype or if you happen to be in the Philadelphia area, stop by. You will find that we are real people who really care about your experience using our product.
Lastly, we recommend that you try going human more in your own business. As you think about ways to differentiate and create competitive advantages for your business think about how you can increase the human factor. Customers are tired of hold times and seemingly endless voice activated response phone systems. The customer "wow" factor never ceases to amaze me when we answer the phone with a live human. Sounds intuitive and simple but it can be easier said than done. Admittedly we want to be able to do this 24×7 for our customers around the world and we have to improve. But for now, give us a call during working hours Eastern Standard Time and we will be happy to provide you with human service. If we don’t pick up, leave us a message and a human will call you right back.
Photo Credit: Luc Viatour