What do you think? Is a restaurant a service business or a form of retail? The food is a product after all. I saw this enquiry and realized that we hardly ever talk about service businesses. Maybe it’s because they are harder to run. If your business deal with tangible products, your entrepreneurship experience is costly but simpler.
Easy because you can either impress your customers by low pricing or by using better material to improve quality. Service entrepreneurs don’t even have straightforward pricing. Are you one? You have to use this alchemy called value-based pricing to determine your worth. You make it up as you go, you charge what customers are willing to pay. How much do you pay at the salon? The owner didn’t really set price by what electricity costs or the latest tax imposed by Government. It wouldn’t work.
Secondly, service businesses have to rely on first-impression to catch the eye. Yeah, it probably makes them good at doing first dates. But in business they don’t have margins for mistakes. One bad salon experience and she doesn’t come back. Imagine how far Kenya would be if we overreacted like that during General Elections.
Luckily, we saw a hack in Minet Teachers’ Medical Scheme to make a good first-impression in a service business. Intro, the Medical Scheme is for teachers employed by TSC. The benefits structure is impressive – inpatient, outpatient, maternity, dental, optical, funeral cover, etc. Minet even accepts existing conditions. And registration is simple. If you are a teacher join. If you know one, tell them:
With this plan, teachers register one-time easily by dialing *865# and keying in the TSC and ID numbers. Once the details are verified, only name, role and gender are needed to complete the process.
— StartUp Club (@HerBusiness1) October 24, 2018
You can learn more about this medical scheme by watching these short videos.
Let’s get back to impressing customers. What we picked from Minet is how good they make it for TSC teachers to choose a hospital. Once registered, you could opt to find a medical facility by dialling *340# from your Safaricom or Airtel line. You’ll be prompted to declare the medical service you require, then your location will guide the Minet system to direct you to a hospital.
The Minet Teachers’ Medical Scheme online platform is even better. All the selections you need to make are on one page. When you’re done, you click a search button and get a medical facility recommendation. This, what Minet is doing, leads us to conclude that you can undercut your service business competitors by being more convenient. Competition is not just about price and quality.
The quickest way to get to that level is by being quick. What? Decent pun. When you put into use that rule about “only picking two of cheap, fast and good,” you’ll have to prioritize fast. Then pick one of the other two. There is not much choice. People these days are in a rush, and it’s more because we are impatient than busy. Seriously, why do you have to watch an entire season in one or two sittings? What’s wrong with an episode a week?
The second part is fitting your service to the customer. You already do it, you’ll just intensify things. Minet Teachers’ Medical Scheme does it by personalizing hospital selection. You get to do it yourself. As a Kenyan, you may have been conditioned to see the idea of making the cusomer feel special in your interaction as weird. How many of us complain of the bored, tired treatment from an attendant somewhere?0