The Customer Service Conundrum

· Customer Service,Small Business,Different is Better,Mike Michalowicz,Marketing Tips

“We are different from our competitors because our Customer Service is the best!”

It’s a phrase I hear nearly daily from hundreds of businesses every year.

How can everyone have the best customer service?
I get it! There are lots of businesses out there that don’t have good customer service at all. But not all of us can have the same differentiator - at that point it fails to actually differentiate!

Not that customer service can’t be your differentiator, but if you’re going to go with the same answer as everyone else, there has to be something special about your approach and you have to be able to communicate it well, or no one will believe you.

To figure out WHAT about your customer service truly differentiates you from your competitors, check out the following checklist of questions to develop answers to...

What Makes A Great Customer Service Experience for You?

Think about your last great customer service experience. What made it so incredible?

It’s time to break it down on a micro-detailed scale! If you felt special, what made you feel special? What exactly did they do? Perhaps they went above and beyond to solve a mistake or a problem? Made you feel like you mattered? Made you feel human? Did they pay special attention to what you said? Did they customize things to meet your needs?

Jot it all down. In detail.

When you start to figure out what exactly they did that made it special, you can start training your team on how to do the same, and you can figure out how to package that in marketing lingo to make it stand out that hasn’t been used by everyone else!

What Makes Your Customer Service Experience Different From Other Customer Service Experiences?

What do you do that literally no one else in your industry does?

Yes. Literally.

This isn’t about your slogan. This is about what services & perks do you provide that your competitors do not? That none of your competitors offer. Look hard.

The reality is, finding something you’re offering that literally no one else is offering is hard. Someone out there is doing it. So to stand out, then your job is to make your customer service offering more personal.

Directly relate how you stand out with your customer service to your mission statement. Provide customers with the “why” behind your product or service. If you’re selling water bottles, I almost guarantee that’s not why you got into business. There is always something behind why you wanted to sell those bottles and how it will improve lives around you. Tell your customers that, & live it, and breath it. Figure out how to represent that in your customer service.

What Makes People Go Crazy Over Your Customer Service Experience?

Check out your reviews to see what about your company is standing out to people (and if you don’t have any, go ask for some!).

One of my clients seems to consistently have a review pop up talking about how impressed the customers are that the General Manager will show up when a problem occurs. The challenge is that you can’t have a marketing campaign promising that your GM will show up every time you have a problem. It’s unrealistic and it focuses on the wrong side of the marketing (Problems versus solutions).

Instead, you can look at what people are truly impressed by: the fact that his company moves heaven and earth to take care of their customers and no one is more important than the customer.

That is what you build a “differentiator” campaign around.

And you may have more than one thing that differentiates you, but you have to figure out what it is in exact, literal, terms and that is what you have to market. Not that you’re better, but the why and the how you are different from your competition.

Remember: Talk is Cheap.

Once you’ve figured out what it is that makes your customer service different from others, you have to show it. Anyone can say that they are willing to move heaven and earth to make sure you are taken care of, but how many companies can show you honest reviews and proof that they’re doing it? How many companies train their office team on all the little sentences and shifts to how they run the conversation that SHOW the customer how important they are?

I worked with a dental drill repair provider who was struggling to stand out. He provided the same style box for his customers to mail him the drills for repair and he would watch as he’d hand out this expensive box, and see it get tossed in a cupboard full of all the others from his competitors.

So we re-designed the whole process. How he delivered the box, how the box was designed and what information was highlighted on the cover of the box. Instead of telling his prospects what we brought to the table, we shifted the language, and the method of delivery to show how we differentiate.

We did the same thing with The Grow Retreat.

Truthfully, what differentiators The Grow Retreat from other events, at its heart, is the customer-focus.

We designed the entire event around understanding who the primary attendee is, and how to give them exactly what they need to be successful with the information they receive.

Down to the tiny details.

Last year we had an attendee with an onion allergy. Onion powder is in pretty much everything! We took special care with her snacks and meals and at the end of the event she pulled me aside to thank me. She mentioned that she’s attended hundreds of events, but no one has ever catered to her food needs.

But customer service is not what we advertise as our differentiator.

What’s the point of telling everyone “You’re special to us if you attend” or “We care about you as an attendee”? It’s just words!

Instead, we talk about the “Experience unlike anything else.” We focus on how we’ve differentiated this event from how we’ve designed the connections with the speakers, the content to be application-focused, down to how even purchasing a ticket is 100% customer focused.

But that’s not what’s on the website. (Don’t believe me? Check it out!

The point is, figure out HOW you live and breath customers-first. Then your marketing speaks for itself!

As one of my absolute favorite speakers/authors, Mike Michalowicz, says,

“Better isn’t better. Different is better!”​

By the way! Did you know that Mike is coming back to the Grow Retreat next year? And he’s bringing fresh content that he didn’t teach on at this year’s retreat. Check out what he’s going to be speaking on here!