What are the True Values and Unique Selling Points of a Business?

    What are the traditional values or unique selling points (USPs) of a business?

    It’s a question that came up in a discussion I was having with other business leaders in the last week or so and it prompted me to re-evaluate what it is that I think defines Your Comms Group (YCG).

     

    For me, the problem with many of the so-called external values that are often associated with businesses is that they aren’t really values at all, but rather the way in which those businesses choose to publicly differentiate themselves from their competitors.

    Estate agents and used car sales - sectors that have both traditionally suffered from poor reputation in the past, are good examples of how businesses mistake terms of differentiation for perceived value or uniqueness in their service delivery.

    Both often put an emphasis on ‘trust’ and ‘honesty’, on ‘reputable’ service or on ‘good value’. But are these really customer-facing values or unique qualities? Or are they simply another way for those sectors to try to rinse themselves of the grime of a bad press?

    When a business tells you it is trustworthy, or honest, or reputable, or good value for money, I think what it’s really doing is acknowledging that a good many of them are none of these things.

    The ‘values’ here are really an exercise in trying to put distance between one business and another. What these ‘values’ are really saying is "We know you’re suspicious of our sector generally, but we’re different".

    Surely trust, honesty, and reputable service that represents good value for money should come as standard, shouldn’t it? Why are you in business if it doesn’t? I know these things are part of the fabric of YCG. For me, there is no advantage or need for us to wrap these things up and present them to potential customers as our values, because they are and always have been the fundamental essence of how and why we do business every day.

    Ditto the value that proudly states we do what we say we’ll do. Well, at the risk of being naïve or stupid, if you’re running a business why wouldn’t you do that? Why would you feel the need to illuminate the fact with a metaphorical neon signpost?

    And honestly, what business would admit to being untrustworthy, dishonest, disreputable or unfairly priced, anyway? So to say the opposite is, if nothing else, a contrivance because, well, you would say that, wouldn’t you, even if you were running the most dishonest and disreputable business imaginable.

    There is, though, a difference between external values and internal values. Qualities like trust and honesty et al very definitely do make up an organisation’s internal values – those by which they expect their staff and other stakeholders to live.

     



    So, if all those things aren’t values, what are the values that define a business?

    I think these are the qualities that aren’t necessarily part and parcel of the service or product you provide or sell. They are largely unquantifiable, of the unmeasurable. They’re the visceral essence of who you are and what you do.

    Boldness is a value. At YCG part of our values estate is a fearlessness to be different in what we do. That means we want to innovate around that service and be creative in how we identify and implement tools and product options.

    That translates into trend-bucking transparency around billing, customer self-help tools and contract options.

    Being fun is a value. We hire people who we’d want to go for a drink with or spend time with out of work. People who have the same glass-half-full attitude to life and business that we do.

    That translates into better customer service and a better customer experience. It means more professionally fulfilled team members who are invested in what we do and how we do it because they enjoy coming to work and are looked after for doing their jobs well. And that sense of fun bleeds into our customer interaction, too.

    Being passionate is a value. We’re passionate about service quality – not just about offering great service but about always striving today to make it better than it was yesterday. That’s about not settling for the status quo, wherever it sits on the scale.

    That translates into a constantly improving and truly customer-centric offer. Always trying to be better than we’ve been before requires our people to know their jobs and our sector inside so that they can offer unrivalled, impartial advice and support that’s always in the customer’s best interests – even if, on rare occasions, that mean admitting we’re not necessarily the best option.
    There are more I could list and explain here – be curious, think big, solidarity, empathy, the list goes on and on – but the key attribute of all of them is that none of them describes a product or how to deliver a service.

    Instead, they describe attitude, state of mind and ambition – all of which then create the environment in which service delivery can thrive and grow.

    At YCG we know that our success comes from living values that align with those of our customers. That’s why our customer retention is so high and it’s what attracts new customers to us every day.

    And it’s those values and qualities, the ones that connect us emotionally with our staff and our customers that differentiate us from everyone else.

     

    Find out more about YCG's USP by getting in touch today