Every organization has a USP: a Unique Selling Proposition. It’s what differentiates you from your competition and positions you in the market to attract and retain your ideal customers.
Funny thing is… many people are unable to define or even describe their own USP. The most common answer to the USP question is people. As in “Our People Make the Difference”. In fact, many an award-winning slogan is based on just that. But while it may be true, it’s not enough. Everybody has people. We need to dig a bit deeper.
This was a topic of some examination and discussion at a workshop we recently hosted. Our facilitator urged the participants to go deeper. The group arrived at the concepts of “going the extra mile” and “going above and beyond”.
The discussion leader found that a bit more concrete, but still pushed. She urged us to get as specific as possible. She helped us define expectations and standards. “Until you know what is expected, how can you define what’s extra?” Good question.
She described a very literal but precise example: I’m a female travelling alone on a bus late at night. The bus reaches the end of the line; the driver asks me how much further I need to walk. He then suggests I stay on the bus while he detours slightly to get me to my destination. Wow. I don’t realize that this is the transit company’s policy in such situations; I’m just thankful for the care.
How do you show your patients that you value their business? Does your team know, or might they benefit from a lunch-and-learn discussion on this topic?
a. What’s the basic expectation our patients have of us?
b. How can/do we exceed those expectations and to what extent?
c. What processes do we have in place to meet or exceed customer expectations?
d. What guidelines do we have in place to exceed customer expectations when needed?
It is important to establish such guidelines because recent research1 has shown that magnanimously exceeding a customer expectation rarely pays off unless such an act goes viral.
e. What makes our practice stand out from the competition?
f. What little things can we do to make us memorable?
g. How do we want our patients to feel when they leave?
Our facilitator ended the session with a personal anecdote. She recalled one of her first dental appointments as a young child, terrified at the prospect. The dental assistant rolled her stool close and picked up an orange from a basket. She then picked up a big syringe and inserted it into the orange. The curious, now distracted patient asked her what she was doing. The assistant said, “I’m practising.” She then carefully pulled the needle out of the fruit and squirted a little shot of orange juice into her mouth. “Nailed it!” The little girl laughed until it hurt, opened wide and has been telling that story for more than 40 years.
What are your Wow! moments that will keep you top of mind, and get your patients talking to their friends?
1 from Effortless Experience by Matthew Dixon