Does your customer service sound like, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

Be careful that’s not what you sound like when touting your customer service.

Just about every small business on the planet claims to have the “best customer service.” And most of them think that, just by claiming it, they set themselves apart from their competition. But if every small business is declaring it, and all the customers are hearing it, is claiming to have the best customer service truly a differentiator? This is the question I’ve been thinking long and hard about, and here is the answer I’ve arrived at:

While I believe customer service CAN be a differentiator, I think most small business owners do not leverage it as effectively as possible.

(NOTE: Before we move on, I would also like to note that I prefer the term “client service” as I discussed in one of my prior posts, but since “customer service” is more commonly used, I’ll utilize it here.)

Think about it this way. If multiple businesses sell the same product, and they advertise it the same way, how is a consumer supposed to decide which business to purchase that product from? Now, look at customer service the same way. If every business is positioning itself as having the best customer service, how is the customer supposed to know how to pick the business that offers the best customer service?

Using the phrase “best customer service” means nothing anymore because everyone says it.

Ironically, in an attempt to differentiate themselves, these small business owners have become lost among all their competitors.

So, is customer service important?

ABSOLUTELY! But it’s not how you say it that matters, it’s how you demonstrate to every customer how important customer service is to you. In an age where small businesses compete against multinationals, due to the power of the internet great customer service is really just a ticket to the ballgame. Having great customer service is the minimum requirement to compete. If you’re selling a product that can be purchased on Amazon (and it’s likely you have a higher price than they do) you have to at least match their excellent customer service, in addition to providing added value (like personal service, expertise, convenience, etc.) somewhere else.

But how can you portray your focus on customer service to your prospective customers when it’s being touted by so many other businesses? In what ways can you prove to a prospective customer that you have the best customer service without them buying from you first?

How to prove you have the best customer service?

One great way to demonstrate this is through objective testimonials or references. When your satisfied customers tell others about your outstanding customer service (either through printed quotes, video testimonials, etc.) then you have credible proof of your customer service. When businesses tout their own service, customers understand they’re just marketing. But when other customers do it, it is more believable.

Another great way is to break down your customer service into individual elements, and then highlight the benefits of each of those elements. If you offer things like: great ordering flexibility, quick turnaround times, a generous return policy, a satisfaction guarantee, technical support, and more, all these elements aggregate into an overall perspective that you really care about great customer service.

Different businesses, as well as different customers, define great customer service differently. But if you are able to break it down for your customers – and SHOW them more than just telling them – I think you’ll find increased success.

So, the next time you tout your customer service, stop and think what it sounds like to your prospective clients. Are they really hearing the things that make your customer service great? Or are they just hearing “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah?”

And to prove to you that I practice what I preach, I invite you to stop by my office anytime. I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and we can discuss how you can improve how you tell your prospects about your great customer service.