Years ago when I lived in New Jersey, I took my car to a mechanic named Mr. Goodman for repairs. He wasn’t cheap, and an appointment was always necessary at least one or two weeks ahead of time. I was a young teacher at the time so having to pay for those repairs were tough, but I refused to go to just any mechanic. It had to be Mr. Goodman for one simple reason: Honesty.
Mr. Goodman told you exactly what was wrong with your car, how much the repairs would cost, whether it was even worth repairing and exactly how long the repairs would take. All his customers would agree that even though he may have charged a little bit more, they would never question whether he was ripping you off with unnecessary or improper repairs that some mechanics often did.
There were plenty of mechanics near Mr. Goodman that did the same work with the same type of equipment on the same kinds of cars. Sure, some of them had nicer facilities and others were more technically proficient, but for the most part they were all doing the same scope of work. Mr. Goodman uniquely stood out from the pack because of his unquestioned honesty and integrity.
Without question, Mr. Goodman made a good living, and I’m sure by now he’s living a comfortable retirement from the money he made in his business. At least I hope he is, because I owe him a great debt beyond keeping a poor teacher’s car running. Additionally, he taught me valuable lessons about honesty, integrity, focus and expertise that still prove to be valuable and relevant today.
The greatest lesson I learned from Mr. Goodman is that what you do (in business or in life) can be the same as what others do, but how you do it is what makes you stand out from your competition. Your unique approach is your competitive advantage.
Accelera Solutions is one of many companies contracting with the government to provide a variety of IT and Project Management services. While we do emerge as market leaders in Cloud solutions, we also do face off with many other companies that provide many of the same services.
So how do we stand out? And what would make our customers, including those who don’t require cloud solutions, notice us above the others, appreciate what we do for them, and seek us out for more work? The answer is superior, authentic and personalized customer service just like Mr. Goodman provided.
When we take on the attitude that all business is personal, that all customers deserve the very best of our attention and efforts, and that nurturing healthy relationships with them is a primary responsibility of all our employees, we will solidify a positive reputation that satisfies customers and draws many more.
One of our corporate goals this year is to provide Managed Services through strong customer relationships as a trusted partner. Solid, across-the-board, exceptional customer service supports our goals, builds a solid business model and gives us our competitive edge!
Thank you for all that you taught me, Mr. Goodman.