Sometimes I read things that are so patently obvious, I wonder why they’re even news. Accenture has released a survey of 4,100 consumers that determined that “service — more than price — is a clear differentiator” for who customers choose to work with.

I don’t know why this would be news to anyone, but apparently it is. I recall reading many years ago that there can only be one winner in the “competing for the lowest price” category, so you’d better compete on something else. (I think it was in the book Marketing Selling the Invisible, which is a GREAT book.)

Service is what consumers are paying for. Service is what your members are paying for. And yes, your database can help improve the level of the service you provide.

If you’re capturing transactions in your database (both financial and non-financial) then you already know a LOT about your members and customers. Now you have to use the data to elevate the level of your service. You do this by ensuring that you’re communicating with your customers in a way that they want to be communicated with, and about things that they want to know.

So now, especially in this economy, is the time to start leveraging the data you have, to improve the level of service to your members and customers. Here’s an article I wrote recently that provides some ideas.