The Art of Customer Delight – Every Little Thing Matters

Customer Delight

I was out shopping with my wife and son at a large 3 floor retail outlet. We were looking to buy something for all three of us and as is normal, spent quite a bit of time at the store.

It was then that I felt thirsty. I approached an employee and the conversation that took place was something like this:

Me: I am feeling thirsty. Can you pls tell me where can I find some water?

Employee: Sir, you need to go to the 2nd floor. That is where you will find the water filter.

Me: Don’t you have any water available on this floor?

Employee: No sir. We only have one water filter and that is available on the 2nd floor.

Me: So, if you want to drink water, you also have to go to the 2nd floor?

Employee: Yes and No. We are required to carry a water bottle that we fill and keep with ourselves. But that is for our own use. For customers, the water is available at the water filter on the 2nd floor.

And I was on the Ground floor.

So, I went back to the 2nd floor, found the water filter tucked in a corner. I was a bit miffed at the fact that the store did not have a water filter available on each floor. It doesn’t cost much. But, then forgot about this all together.

Until the next time, I visited another retail store, similarly large.

This time, i was curious to find out if this retailer had water available at each floor. To my surprise (or maybe not so much of a surprise), I found that this retailer also had water available only at one of its floor.

I tried to check this at almost every large retailer in Bangalore and found the same to be true.

Now, the question that i have is the following:

Why cant a high end retailer doesn’t care about customer (and employee) comfort, when it comes to little things like this?

It doesn’t cost them much to have a water filter at every floor of the retailer.

Though it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue at a superficial level, but at a deeper level is a big issue. By not doing this small and not so important a thing, you are setting an example and telling your employees and customers that their comfort doesn’t matter.

This also sets a culture where employees are not keyed in to delight customers.

It is these small things that when done well, delight your customers.

These also set the ball rolling and sets a culture of thinking about the comfort of your customers at the centre of all your decisions.

This also tells your employees that the customer and his comfort matters, however small their request is.

So, what is your water filter problem? How do you plan to address it?

PBTO22: Growing Your Business By Building an Army of Zombie Loyalists – @PeterShankman

Customer Delight is the ultimate

In today’s episode, we host Peter Shankman. He is an author, entrepreneur, speaker, and worldwide connector. He is recognised worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about Customer Service, Social Media, PR, marketing and advertising.

The New York Times has called him “a PR all-star who knows everything about new media and then some,”. Peter is a spectacular example of what happens when you merge the power of pure creativity with  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and a dose of adventure, and make it work to your advantage.

In my opinion, his thoughts about customer service and how businesses can use customer service to not only differentiate themselves from their competition but also to use it as a competitive advantage is as sound as it can get. If you run a business and want to understand how and what needs done to delight your customers, Peter is your go-to man.

In this free wheeling conversation, we talk about a wide range of topics around customer service and how easy/difficult it is to create great service experience and yet how uncommon it is. We also talk about how you could use customer service in growing your business.

Most important learnings from the conversation:

  • Great customer service can become your key differentiator in growing your business and it doesn’t cost much.
  • We are now moving to a customer service based economy.
  • Customer service has the potential to become a competitive advantage for a business.
  • You don’t need a lot of budget to create an awesome experience for your customers.
  • Hire people for their empathy and not for their skills.
  • Being Human is critical for any business..
  • Focus on making the customers you have feel amazing and the customers you want will come to you.

You can reach Peter on Twitter. You can also find his social stream here. You can buy his book Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans.

Book Recommendation: Sprinkles – Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service

In this short, sweet and highly insightful book, Chip Bell takes us on a 9 course gourmet meal and shows us how one can go about creating innovative service experiences without breaking the bank.

He also shares with us his secret sauces that when added in the right measures have the potential to create service experiences that are worthy to be shared by the customers who experience them.

What is even better is that every single time that you read the book, you end up getting a new idea that you could implement in a business quickly and have an impact almost immediately.

If someone were to use each one of his nine secret sauces one at a time, every month, you would not only have created  a great experience for your customers but also built a robust and a fast growing business (provided that you have your basics in order – good quality product at a good price for an specific kind of customer).

This book is a must read for everyone of us who us responsible for providing a service or design an experience to someone else.

You can buy the book below (affiliate link)

 

Guest Post: Customers Love Fireplace-like Service

 

Customers Love (1)

Today, we have a guest post from Chip R. Bell. He is a renowned keynote speaker and best-selling author. 

Here is Chip’s post about great customer service:

I admit it! I am a hopeless romantic. So, I see things through “Nicolas Sparks” eyes. And, fireplaces are a great venue for most people of my persuasion. Picture this: you are with your special person, you each have a glass of great wine in hand, there is amorous music softly playing in the background. What’s missing from this scene? A fireplace!

There is no such thing as a bad fireplace. And, fireplaces generally come in two varieties—the ones with gas logs and the ones with real logs. Gas fireplaces are like a really good customer experience—it is nice to look at, warms up a chilly room, and is easy to operate. I have a gas fireplace in my bedroom that can be ignited with just the flip of a light switch.

But, then there are real fireplaces. You get the same heat and great looks as gas logs but with an added feature, especially favored by romantics. They have sounds and smells! The logs crackle and pop; the wood emits a smell that reminds you of a campfire with great stories being nurtured. Innovative service is like a real fireplace. Innovative service evokes an experience of authenticity, not just warmth. It stimulates many senses, not just a couple. And, innovative service kindles stories customers are eager to share.

So, what makes real fireplace-like customer experiences? They are constructed with care, lighted with passion, and stoked with the quest of making them extend a long time in the memory of customers.   Take time to orchestrate the setting of your service. Deliver the experience in a fashion that is personalized, valuable and delightfully memorable to those you serve. And, extend the experience with a special service souvenir, a follow-up call, or a sincere thank you.   Turn your customer experiences into a fireplace-like encounter and light up your customers as they heat up your bottom-line.

My take on this: 

One of the surest way for any organization to differentiate themselves from their competitors, known and unknown, is to design experiences for their customers which is not only worthy to remember but also makes them to talk and share their experiences with their friends and families.

We will also have him on our podcast soon. Watch out for the same here.

His newest book, Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service, is now available on Amazon: http://bit.ly/AMZsprinkles. Find more resources at: http://bit.ly/CBsprinkles or visit www.chipbell.com to connect with Chip.

The Importance of Setting the Right Expectations

Set the Right Expectation

Let me start this with another Mulla Nasruddin tale:

Mulla Nasruddin was walking by a market when his friend told him about the great fair happening in the city hall and how everyone is going to see it..

So, Mulla decided to join in..

It was a fashion show and beautiful models, all dressed up, were seen walking the ramp.

Sometime later, a fuming Mulla stormed out of the city hall.

When his friend saw him storming out, he followed Mulla and asked him what got him so angry and worked up?

Mulla said – They show all these beautiful women walking around and when I went to enquire about them, I found out that it is the clothes that they want to sell..

This short story tells a lot about the importance of setting the right expectations and the result when it is not done.

Mis-understood expectations are a big cause of concern in any relationship, more so in a business setting.

One of the biggest area where expectations play a big part in businesses is around goals or customer service.

Myth 1: “Under-promise and over-deliver“. This is a good short term tactic and just that – a tactic. You will eventually be found out.

Myth 2:  “You aim for the sun so you at least reach the moon“. The problem with this myth is that it demoralizes everyone, even if you do reach the moon. It is never worth it in the long term.

The better thing to do is to “Set stretch goals, over-deliver & Be transparent“. This gives you a realistic chance of over-delivering your goals and at the same time keeps everyone motivated about the same.