One of my favorite scenes in the movie “Elf” is the one in the coffee shop:
World’s best cup of coffee! Wow!
This scene is hilarious, but it illustrates a trap that is all too common in advertising. While your parents may believe you are the best, the rest of us need proof.
It’s easy to describe yourself using superlatives — highest quality, fastest service, best tasting — but if you don’t offer any proof, you’re only offering empty words. Words your competitors can also use, and words that don’t mean anything to your customers.
Back it up
If you can indeed claim to be at the top of your particular heap, back it up. For example, instead of “World’s Best Cup of Coffee,” showcase the results of your latest taste test that lets you say “The Choice of Coffee Connoisseurs.” Or instead, let your customers make the case for you: “No Other Coffee I’ve Tried Measures Up.”
To take it a step further, dig down to find out what really sets you apart from your competitors, and turn that into a benefit for your customers. Got the fastest response times? Let your customers know that they will waste less time waiting around. Offer 24/7 service? Let them know you’re ready when they are.
Any time and money you spend on research up front will pay for itself when you home in on what makes you special and resonates with your customers.
Walk the Talk
It’s also important that you don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Your goal should always be to exceed expectations. If you promise one hour delivery, be sure you consistently deliver in less than one hour. Setting the bar high and then failing to reach it not only defeats your efforts, it leaves you in worse shape than ever.
If you do miss the mark on occasion, have a plan in place for service recovery so you don’t lose the customer completely. Apologize sincerely, and then make it right. If you didn’t meet the promised delivery window, waive the cost of the order or the delivery charge, or help offset the consequences of your mistake. Then make sure you identify the source of the problem and take steps internally to prevent it from happening again.