July 24, 2008

Communicate Your Unique Advantage… Constantly

To market effectively, you need a great product and something unique you can take to the market, preferably something unique the market actually values. But even that's not enough. In addition, you have to constantly communicate that uniqueness to customers and prospects. Constantly is the key word here.

I came across an interesting example the other day. I was calling the customer service line of some company, probably my credit card company. When I got the person on the line, it was clear she was an American. How refreshing!  You certainly don't see that too often these days.

What made this conversation memorable was how the customer service agent introduced herself. She said, "This is Mary Jones in Tempe, Arizona. How may I give you great service today?"

Hmm… how interesting.

She could've just said, "Hello."

But now, her intro script specifically required her to say where she was located (a U.S. city perceived by many to be an advantage when it comes to customer service) and set the expectation that she would deliver great service.

Incidentally, on that last phrase, it's actually intended more for the customer service agent than the customer. Lots of psychology studies will show you that if you get someone to make a public commitment like that, they find it very difficult to do anything other than what they promised they do. Turns out the threat of hypocrisy is a powerful motivator.

Getting back to my original point, I found it fascinating that this customer service agent would mention her location. My best guess is they were trying to demonstrate an advantage they offered versus a competitor. Probably not a bad way to improve job security either.

In any case, this company had an advantage and they weren't shy about telling you about it–on every phone call. You gotta have something unique to offer and it's not a bad idea to constantly remind people about it all the time.

Spread the Word!

Filed under Positioning by Victor Cheng

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