Features, Benefits, So What

In the contract service industry, on their websites and in their marketing materials, contractors tend to list all the features of their service, but often fail to tie them in to the benefits they provide for the customer.

This is the conclusion of Ron Segura, president of Segura Associates, who workswith contract service companies such as cleaning contractors, landscape firms, and others, helping them market and build their businesses.
“Sometimes you can feel their enthusiasm listing these features. However, what they usually do not realize is that to the web visitor or potential customer, they mean little or nothing at all.”

Segura says that service contractors, no matter what their industry, must understand what a feature is and what is a benefit. To do this, they must understand the following key differences:

• Features are facts about products or services. They tell the customer what you can provide.
• Benefits explain how those features can help the customer, such as improve their lives or improve the health of their facility.
“When I am working with a client, I go through their website, and as soon as I see lots of features listed on their site, I ask them, ‘so what.’ Asking the question ‘so what’ is the easiest way to turn a feature into a benefit.”

To explain, Segura provides some of the most common examples he encounters:

Feature: We’ve been in business for 20 years!

So what?

Benefit: In those 20 years, we have encountered all types of situations and learned how to handle them quickly and effectively.

Feature: We use the latest cleaning technologies!

So what?

Benefit: Because we use the latest cleaning technologies, we can streamline our service, allowing us to cut costs, which we pass on to our clients.

Feature: We use only green-certified cleaning solutions!

So what?

Benefit: Because we use green-certified cleaning solutions, we are better able to protect the health of your staff and all building users.
“It’s easy to bombard your customers with the features of your service,” says Segura. “But always remember, they want to know how those features will benefit them.”

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