The service paradox: Don’t promise it
Should you build your big story around ‘great service’, ‘personal attention’?
I’ve tried this for several clients, but it doesn’t cut much mustard.
Everyone yacks about service. The promise is limp and tired and vague and a yawn. Service is a non-advertisable attribute. (That’s consultant/pundit talk.)
The other problem: If you brag about exceptional service, and the customer somehow isn’t bowled over, they think you a phony. You’re worse off than if you hadn’t said anything.
On the other hand, if you DON’T brag about service, yet manage to dazzle customers anyway, they are delightfully surprised. And they may even mention you to a friend or colleague. (Even if your carpet needs vacuuming or your web site looks home-made.)
You can win gillions in business by delivering jaw-dropping service. But jaws are more likely to drop when the new customer isn’t expecting anything extraordinary.
Promising wonders ruins everything.
Bonus advice: Never, ever say anything like ‘service beyond your expectations.’
For one, the phrase has been done, re-done and overdone. Chubb insurance does it. So do about 8,450 other firms, including a landscaper, janitorial service and some 732 real estate agents.
Worse yet: By definition you can never live up to ‘beyond your expectations.’ When a customer hears ‘beyond your expectations’, their expectations rise. So you now have to exceed expectations that just got higher. You’re in an escalating spiral to disappointment.
It’s best to shut up about service. Just deliver it. Surprise them. That’s the ticket.
I just realized I riffed on the old meme: “Under-promise, over-deliver.”