Disrupting an Industry Through Customer Service

By David Martin, Heed Public Relations

When you hear the term “disruption” in business speak these days, it’s easy to think of companies like Uber and Airbnb who’ve radically altered their industries by introducing dynamic new business models.

These disruptors, and others like them, are popular and highly valuable because they deliver benefits to their consumers — consumers who’ve been unsatisfied with the status quo they’ve been faced with for years.

But an interesting thing about disruptors is that, contrary to popular images of them, they don’t have to operate off slick new apps or be tied heavily to technology. What’s more, they don’t even have to offer a paradigm-shifting business model. They can disrupt simply by doing something no one else does.

Case in point, Majestic Stone and their commitment to customer service.

New blood in an old industry

At 32, Patrick Wells is likely one of the younger stone executives around. And, as he freely admits, he didn’t come into the stone world with a ton of industry experience. That, however, hasn’t stopped him from working long hours with his team at Majestic Stone’s quarry on Dayton Mountain, trying to breathe new life into an old business.

Patrick took over the reigns at Majestic Stone a couple of years ago. During his initial assessments of the company, and of his competitive peers, he was encouraged to identify an opportunity to separate himself from the rest of the pack.

That opportunity? Customer service.

As he told it to the Times Free Press earlier this year, “The standard in the industry is we will get it to you when we get it and we will sell you what we have, not what you want.”

That presented Wells with his chance to disrupt.

Quality customer service as a business persona

If the industry you operate in is known for substandard customer service, putting an emphasis on taking care of those customers should be an easy decision to make. Which is exactly what Patrick has done.

It may sound simple, but things like follow-up phone calls, on-time deliveries, and a willingness to guarantee product quality can separate your business from everyone else. And when few others are working hard to provide those services, those efforts also turn your business into the (as in the only) customer service business in your industry. It becomes a hallmark of your public-facing persona.

Customer service persona leads to increased business

A key validator of a company becoming an actual disruptor is their business growth. Let’s be real, it would be hard to claim the disruptor title unless consumers found your different approach attractive enough to give you their hard-earned moolah.

Would we talk about Uber if millions of drivers and travelers didn’t use their platform daily? No. Same for Airbnb.

As a testament to how well the customer service persona is working for Majestic Stone, the company has experienced 350 percent growth over the last two years alone. Again, not with a slick new app or machine learning.

They’ve achieved that growth with a major emphasis on making sure their customers are happy. They have focused their energies on doing all the little things the right way. Those little things have added up, and now Majestic Stone is the region’s stone industry disruptor.

So, how can you be a disruptor today?


David Martin is the founder of Heed Public Relations.