Knowing what makes your business unique is one of the cornerstones of business success. If you study all the biggest and most successful businesses out there, they can all identify clearly their uniqueness and why this matters to their Target Market.
“What makes your business unique” is one of the first questions I ask any new client when we start to focus on their Target Market. More often than not, the response is ‘great customer service’. Well I hate to tell you, this does not make your business unique and secondly, no ones cares about your customer service. Let me explain.
Firstly, anyone in business needs to be delivering great customer service. No matter what business you’re in, your service aligns with the customers you’re getting (more about that later). We all expect great service, it’s a gold standard and a given in business.
What business owner has ever been asked if they give great customer service and responds by saying “no, we’re terrible at it”? Well granted, a small minority may admit this (they usually have identified this and seek to remedy the situation), but it’s rare. So the problem with saying this is your differentiator is that your clients simply expect that you’re going to deliver great service anyway.
So saying you give great customer service cannot be your differentiator. You could identify the way in which you deliver customer service as a differentiator. For example, if your competitors have foreign call centres with long wait times and you have set up local centres with short wait times. In this case, your differentiator could be “local product experts responding to calls in x seconds or less”.
Either way, I find businesses who insist on using customer service as their unique differentiator, usually haven’t drilled down deep enough to really understand what they are doing to stand out from the crowd (as in the above example).
If you pride yourself on customer service, spend some time drilling down and try to understand the unique part of what you do. I call it the “So What” test.
Every statement my clients make, I ask them “So What”, they go on to tell me why that statement matters to their customer and THAT is usually their unique offering and is something that you can sell and certainly it’s something that you can use to connect with your Target Market. Customers only care how your offering applies to them. This kind of focus with enable you to understand if your uniqueness matters to the customers you are trying to target or whether you’re completely missing what your Target Market expects of you.
Not getting the kind of customers you want or not engaging with your Target Market?
Perhaps your customer service does not align with your ideal customer’s expectations of your business?
For example, if you are targeting younger customers but don’t provide extensive online and social media service options (online chat, fast Twitter responses to complaints, online reviews etc), these customers may be going elsewhere. It’s not that your customer service is bad, it may be just a case of it not meeting the needs or expectations of your Target Market.
Combine the “So What” test to every statement you make about your business and you’ll soon understand how to connect with your ideal customer. Just remember, every other business out there thinks they are winning on customer service, to really stand out of the crowd, be clear on your uniqueness because every statement you make, your customer subconsciously is asking “So What”?