What Makes You Unique? Please Don’t Say Customer Service!

Feb 22, 2017

Here’s an excerpt from a recent meeting with a prospective client:
FIA: So what would you say makes you different from your competitors?
P: Our customer service!
FIA: And what does that mean exactly?
P: Well, it means that we always answer our phones. And we show up when we say we will.

If I had a dollar for each business owner who answered this way…well, I’d have a very tall stack of dollars. This is the most common answer to this question, regardless of industry. I’ve heard it from presidents in retail, professional services, trade and manufacturing alike.

Last time I checked, showing up on time is expected, not a unique selling trait. Same with answering your phones. Want to make showing up on time your unique selling proposition (USP)? Put your money where your mouth is – promise your customers that you’ll be there within 4 hours of their call or their service appointment is free. Now you’ve got something to brag about that your competitors don’t.

If you’re in an industry where the competition is plentiful, it’s a must to tell your prospects how you’re different. They are looking for the answer to: ‘why should I choose you?’

Searching for your uniqueness? Here are some questions to ponder:

  1. Ask your customers what they like best about you – don’t assume you know. Their answers may surprise you.
  2. What are your competitors doing poorly? Listen to your new customers who have made the switch to your company. What specifically compelled them to do it?
  3. What’s your company’s mission statement? Is it infused into your uniqueness?

Here are a few examples of unique selling points:

  • A cleaning company that only uses green cleaning products
  • An IT firm that specializes in servicing Apple products
  • A day camp that has a firm ‘no electronics’ policy

It’s vital to have one unique selling point. Having two or three is even better. You’ll find that once you identify your USPs, your sales and marketing messages will fall into place.


Q. What can a marketing firm do for my company?

They can significantly help with your company’s branding, by making it undeniable clear what you do, what problems you solve, and how your company can help solve specific problems.

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