Greetings. It's the start of a new week and a great time to focus on what it takes to deliver compelling value to the customers, citizens, members, and associates we serve. And to help us think about what really matters, let's begin by checking out the websites of your leading competitors. If they're like most of the companies and organizations out there, they are probably making some remarkable claims using phrases like the following:
- "We use only the latest and best technology."
- "We have the most dedicated and experienced people."
- "We offer the highest quality products, services, and solutions."
- "We are real innovators."
- "We have the best systems and infrastructure to support your needs."
- "We provide award-winning customer service."
- "We go the extra mile and do whatever it takes."
- "We stand behind everything we do."
- "We are perfect partners."
All phrases intended to capture the hearts, minds, and checkbooks of current and potential customers. But are they anything more than simply "words" designed to peak interest? After all, who wouldn't be excited to do business with a company or organization that offered so much value? And, are these claims really true in tangible and meaningful ways–ways that actually ensure that customers will get the results they deserve? Or are they simply PR buzzwords that organizations feel obliged to say because everyone else does–even if they are so much bat guano? Besides, no one wants to admit that they:
- "Use completely outdated technology that isn't right for any of your requirements."
- "Have the most inexperienced and unskilled staff in our industry who would be working somewhere else if they had better training."
- "Offer truly mediocre products, services, and solutions that are unreliable on a good day."
- "Haven't had a new idea in years."
- "Have systems that are poorly designed, ineffective, and prone to crash at the most inopportune times."
- "Provide little or no competent customer support and are eager to drive you crazy until you beg for mercy."
- "Do the minimum amount possible just to get by."
- "Stand so far behind our offerings that you will need the Hubble Telescope to find us in the event of a problem."
- "Couldn't collaborate successfully if our lives depended on it."
These statements would certainly make for an awesomely humorous and possibly more honest marketing and sales pitch. But don't expect to see them on a website or in a brochure any time soon.
Our words matter because they are the promise of our commitment to deliver real value to those we serve. A promise that is not to be taken lightly.
Some companies hope that their words will win new business. Others chose their words to inspire greater curiosity, genius, and innovation in order to become the best possible company in their industry. What words do you use and do you really stand behind them? And, what will you do this week and in all the weeks ahead to turn your words into the new ideas and value your customers deserve?