Why Service is Not a Differentiator

October 8, 2014 Laird Rixford

Why I don't talk about service.

A colleague of mine recently asked me, 'What differentiates us from our competition?' My instant thought was to say service. Before I hastily replied, I stopped and thought.

Does ITC provide great service? Of course we do. On average, our technical support calls are answered in less than one minute and thirty seconds. We offer continual weekday support from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time as well as 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Have a rating issue? We don't send you to the carrier, we handle it. Need to speak with someone else here at ITC? Instead of telling you to call back, we transfer you or handle the request to the other party on your behalf. Helpful and friendly staff? Just check out our reviews. With all that being said, it would seem that what differentiates us from our competition surely could be service... but should it?

Absolutely not. When you buy a product you expect great service. That is included in the cost of purchasing the product. If you use a product that includes a monthly service fee (like most insurance agency websites, comparative rating systems, and agency management systems do) then excellent, ongoing technical support is essential and definitely expected.

When running your agency, carrier, or business, forget about using service as your differentiator. Better differentiation choices include industry leading products, friendlier people, and streamlined sales or service processes. Let your business set itself apart based on factors that do not include something that your clients already expect from you.

To answer my colleague's question from the beginning of this post... ITC sets itself apart from our competition by listening and reacting to the needs of our customers. Even though we really do have great service.

About the Author

Laird Rixford

As CEO, Laird Rixford is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for the company. Rixford has a proven executive management track record and has more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship and insurance technology. An expert in insurance technology and marketing, Laird is a recognized public speaker and has presented at industry events across the United States.

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