When a client hires me to write something – a newsletter, social media, website content – I ask them to fill out a questionnaire about their company. Of all the questions, what seems to “stump” people the most is the difference between “features” – what your company offers – and “benefits” – why someone would want to buy what your company offers!
A “feature” is something you offer, a “benefit” is what your clients get if they hire you or buy your products. Guess which one has the biggest impact on your clients? Benefits can be tangible or intangible. Example: Goodyear doesn’t sell “tires,” they’re selling safe transportation for those you love.
Here’s another example: Let’s say I sell widgets. If someone asks me what makes my widgets better than my competitors, I’d probably answer by listing the features of my widgets:
- My widgets are the best produced widgets.
- We use only the finest ingredients in our widgets.
- My employees take great pride in the making of our widgets.
Does my potential customer care about any of that? Well, not exactly. Here’s what probably matters to the customer:
- How much does it cost?
- Will it work properly?
- What if it doesn’t?
- How many available colors are there?
- How long will these widgets last?
Now, I’m a good widget business owner, and I know the answer to all those questions, too; it’s just not the first thing I think of when I’m talking about my business.
But it can be! The “trick,” as it were, is to change your focus to concentrate on answering the questions that matter to your customer. Meeting the needs of your customers, both spoken and unspoken, is the hallmark of good customer service. Oh, and it’s good for business, too!