It’s Not What You Do, It’s How You Do It That Makes All The Difference

I was visiting with an Edge member recently who expressed the common complaint: “I don’t know how to differentiate my services.”

She want on to say that she created great designs and gave phenomenal customer service. She was sure that her customer service was better than that of other designers, but the problem is that every designer will say that they give great customer service.

So, where is the difference?

I explained to her that the difference is not in what you do (great customer service) but how you do it. In other words, how—exactly—do you deliver on that promise? Not what, but how.

What’s at the heart of this is the root definition of strategy, which is not a tag line or branding exercise; strategy is the choice of those few activities you are going to do better than or differently from others. In this case, you’re going to identify customer service as a capability or resource and convert it to form that forces prospective clients to see the difference.

Consider the difference between these two sales presentation made to a prospective client who is a CEO or corporate executive and travels a lot:

  • Most Typical (What you do)
    • Our customer service is the best…we are always there for you.”
  • More Powerful (How you do it)
    • We set all of our customers up with an online portal to leave messages 24×7
    • We offer regular status updates so that you can log into your portal while you’re out of town
    • We record video walk-throughs each time there are significant changes and schedule Zoom conferences to go over them with you
    • We respond to text and voice messages within 24 hours, 7 days a week
    • We schedule weekly update calls

Which of these presentations do you think will give a prospective client more confidence in how the business relationship is going to flow? Which provides insight into the professionalism and organization of this designer that will roll over into every aspect of the project?

The bottom line is that anyone can say they do this, that, or the other thing, but precious few can document exactly how they do it…and it’s the how that matters most.

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