We've been talking about customer service and "wowing" the customer. Part of providing great customer service is in managing customer expectations.

That's what makes franchises like McDonalds so popular over "mom and pop" fast-food restaurants: customers have a sense of expectation when they walk in. It doesn't matter if you're eating a burger in Nevada or Norway, you've got a general idea about what to get.

If you operate that mom and pop restaurant -- or any business -- you need to address those expectations head on. And, if you can, use your USP to help set you apart.

Here's an example: if the competition is selling computers that ship in a week and you can offer a turnaround time of overnight delivery, you need to put that in your USP. Of course, if you have to charge more to ship overnight, consider managing your customer's expectations by telling them that it costs more. Otherwise, they may feel dissatsified if they do not understand the differentiation.

Not sure what a USP is or how it can help? Check out this link: Don't Run With the Herd