Editor’s Notebook: Doing Things a Little Better than the Next Guy
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Editor’s Notebook: Doing Things a Little Better than the Next Guy

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Looking at the business marketplace beyond our industry can provide some good perspective. Take the aviation industry, for example.

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A recent newspaper article stated that Continental Airlines could be the airline of the future. It went on to say that Continental runs the best business class of any U.S. airline on foreign routes and the best premium service on domestic routes, according to a survey of 1,800 business travelers in a recent issue of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. And, earlier this year, Continental edged Delta for the best network carrier in an annual poll of 9,334 North Amer-ican fliers by J.D. Power & Associates.

Continental’s high ranking in surveys is attributed to “many things that are done right consistently,” rather than one thing done right, the article continued. The airline also values its employees — the people who are the key to its success.

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Interestingly, the article also said that Continental may one day shape the way most people fly — pampered in business and first class, with a few perks in economy class and a lot of routes to chose from.

Continental’s competitive edge is that “it does things a little bit better than the next guy.” It’s all about building brand, boosting customer service levels, over-delivering on customer expectations, focusing on growth, providing added value and making sure the business basics are covered. So what does this mean to you?

These are all things that directly relate to the success of any business, including yours. The fact is that most companies don’t drill down to these basics, as they look for ways to increase profitability — some seek a quick fix, while others look at the big picture and miss the details.

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As you relate this example to your shop, think about ways to exceed your customers’ expectations and win their loyalty for repeat service. Consider ways to add more value with each vehicle you repair. Evaluate every aspect of the way you do business, to see where improvements or enhancements can be made. Survey your customers to get their feedback about their service experiences. Capitalize on the things you’re doing right and take seriously any constructive criticism they may offer.

Think about ways to deliver service that’s better than your competition. Remember that success is in the details. Even minor details would be enough to move the needle in your favor.

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