When I survey small business owners or sales professionals, I always ask the question: “What makes you different from your competition?”
The answers will vary slightly but many come back the same:
“Customer service sets me apart!”
Although I appreciate the enthusiasm that comes with their answer I’m also annoyed by it. Outside the fact that the answer is a total wuss out, there’s a much bigger problem with it…
Customer service DOES NOT set you apart from anyone… ever!!!
Good or even great customer service is an expectation of your customer, not a perk. By providing excellent service you have merely fulfilled the minimum requirement as a servicer to your client.
Customer service is a transactional occurrence. You need to already be doing business with someone before they can experience the so called “benefit” of your service. What about those who have not done business with you yet?
Try to convince someone to choose you over your competition by telling them that they will get great customer service with you. Put yourself in your prospects shoes and imagine what you would think if someone were to say that to you.
People NEVER buy because they think or even believe that you’ll have great customer service. Why? Because it means they will have to buy first before they get proof of the value that you say you will provide. Nobody wants to take that kind of risk. They are much more likely going to wait until someone earns their trust by giving value first, prior to any transaction.
Customer service is everyone’s answer… so it doesn’t make you special – at all.
If you want to truly separate yourself from your competition and win the hearts of your prospect then you need to have a rock solid value proposition and you need to provide enough value up front – to earn trust before they ever buy.
Once you’ve earned their trust, fortify it with great customer service.