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Lessons Learned from Personal Service Success

Recently I've been trying out services with a magical business model. They don't have the cheapest product, and it's not available at Walmart or on Amazon. They profit by taking care of the client, by making them feel most important, and selling them a quality product. How can we, as home technology professionals, weave the same magic?

Realizing our mattress was 10 years old, and possibly why I was waking with a sore back each morning, a new mattress has been on my agenda for a while now. Between running a business and raising two energetic girls, having time to shop was not happening. As a matter of fact, the desire to shop wasn’t even there. It is such an odd experience—walking into a mattress store and lying on a dirty bed for a quick minute while having the commission-based sales clerk breathe down your neck.

After searching the web and reading reviews, we took the leap and ordered a Casper mattress. Not only does the bed come with a 100-day money-back guarantee, but also it ships in a box.

Once you get the box to your room, you cut open the bag, and the mattress begins to expand. It was hilarious watching this blob come to life—and downright fun. We were delighted to find that it was Goldilocks’ ideal: not too hard and not too soft…just right.

Here’s the marketing copy: “The Casper’s sleep surface is universally comfortable—it contours to your body to relieve pressure while retaining a healthy bounce and cool temperature. Sure, there are lots of options out there, but we’ve cut through the confusion to offer a single, perfect choice.”

Two weeks later, we love our new bed. Full disclosure: we have not thrown out the old pillow-top, spring-loaded mattress yet, but I’m seriously considering it. Casper has taken the annoying, agonizing mattress experience and made it fun and pleasurable, while providing an excellent product.

Have you heard of Stitch Fix? It is a subscription service for clothing. There are others out there as well. You pick how often you desire the service and answer questions on your size and style. On your Stitch day, you receive five items with a personalized note and 3×5 cards denoting how to assemble the outfits (don’t judge).

If you like it, you keep it. There is a prepaid envelope to send pieces back that you are rejecting with notes on how you felt about them. It becomes your personal algorithm for clothing styles that you like.

How do they make money? The pieces cost a premium, and you are automatically charged a $20 style fee for each fix. If you keep all pieces, you receive 20 percent off everything! This meshes so well with the female psyche.

What kept me hooked was the idea of that personal stylist and note. Once I began to feel that they stopped listening and my pieces were no longer picked for me (I am pretty sure this happened as the company was growing), I quit the service.

My point to sharing these stories it to remind us all not to forget the human experience when making a sale. Both of these very successful companies are not the cheapest product and not available at Walmart, or even on Amazon. They profit by taking care of the client, by making them feel most important, and selling them a quality product. You never see or meet the employees. It is a bit of magic.

How can we, as home technology professionals, weave the same web?

Make sure that from the moment the client calls, to after the sale, they are taken care of and the message is consistent. Who answers the phone? In what shape are your trucks? How do your installers dress? What is the first thing they say when the client answers the door?

After a completed job, we call the client and ask them about their experience and if they understand the system. We then ask them if they would refer us. This way we can solve any issue that may have arisen. I have also toyed with the idea of sending a note afterward, but have yet to do so.

What do you think? How can we take our tech-solving service and make it extraordinary? How can we create a hook, so one stops looking at the price and starts talking about the experience? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

[Disclaimer: I was not paid or given a special discount for mentioning the products in this article.]