I have just come back from my niece’s wedding. I have been to a few weddings in the past and, of course, they are all fairly jolly occasions. But, with the exception of my own and the weddings of my children, this one was by far the most memorable. Why? Because it was different.
Most of the weddings I have been to in the past have been nice, but predictable. This was predictable too: they looked wonderful, grandma cried, they signed the register, had a belting party and will, I trust, live happily ever after. But this was different because of just a few little touches that were hardly noticeable to many: the organist in the church playing Ed Sheeran; dancing up the aisle to rock music after signing the register; photos of their mum and dad’s weddings at the reception; packets of mints spread around to help with the post breakfast indigestion; the bride changing into her pyjamas (not a going-away-outfit) after midnight to join the throng in the hotel bar.
None of this was revolutionary. It has probably all been done before. But it just goes to show how little you have to do to make a big difference when people think they know what to expect. People often say to me that it’s hard to be different in the moving industry because everyone does the same thing. That seems to me to be an opportunity. Just by doing something unexpected (as long as it’s a good thing) can make you exceptional. It doesn’t need to cost anything. That’s not what it’s about.
I went to a FIDI meeting last year at which this very thing was being discussed. The presenter asked the attendees to look at every customer-facing aspect of their business to see if it was possible to include something exceptional: at the enquiry, if the customer came to visit, when the crew first arrived, etc. One company made a point of cleaning customers’ cars for them while they were in the office. Not hard, not costly, but very memorable.
So what could you do differently today? Business is pretty good for most movers nowadays, certainly by comparison to the recent past. Everyone should be able to do OK. But how are you going to do better than OK? How will you get more than your fair share of the good times? It might be a lot easier than you think.