Don’t Settle for Customer Satisfaction, Strive to WOW Your Customers!
I recently read an article from Forbes on Word of Mouth Marketing, and it is a pretty good article with some worthwhile takeaways. I completely agree with the overall theme of the article – the concept of continuing to earn your customers’ loyalty to your product/service. However, I think the article falls short when it talks about how to “Surprise and Delight” customers.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Little things can go a long way in encouraging customers to leave a review. That could be anything from providing top-quality service to settling a customer service complaint in an above-and-beyond manner. There are several things you can do to surprise and delight your customers, including offering freebies and sending a thank-you note. Both provide photo opportunities that stand out on newsfeeds when your customers receive them. While there’s no guarantee you’ll get a referral off this type of behavior, if you routinely go the extra mile for your customers, you’ll find you get more word-of-mouth recommendations than if you didn’t.
So based on the article the recommended recipe to “surprise and delight” customers is to offer:
- Top quality service (this is a surprise???)
- “Freebies” (YES – if done right)
- A thank you note (good practice. . . but should be common – not a surprise)
I certainly agree with the idea of “surprising and delighting” customers as a catalyst to word of mouth marketing. I think as marketers we can do more than the ideas listed in the Forbes article. Keep in mind that whatever you choose to do should not be overtly self-serving. Offering 10% on the customers next order does not constitute a WOW. To qualify as a WOW your activity should be:
- Customer-focused and not directly associated with a hook to drive more business from them (immediately). This comes across as self-serving and will not be perceived as a WOW.
- Unusual – something that elicits a real genuine surprise from the customer. If your competition is already doing something similar – you should come up with something else.
Here are a couple of examples that would likely WOW customers:
- If you ran a restaurant that provides a valet service, occasionally have a loyal customer’s car detailed while they enjoy their meal. No question this will be a surprise and most certainly delight your valued patron. They will think – WOW! Extra credit if you place a handwritten thank you note on the front seat thanking them for their business.
- If you provide professional services (legal, financial, etc.) and a client has a baby, consider something extraordinary to commemorate the blessed event. Professional courtesy would be to offer assistance in the establishment of a formal 529 plan for the child. You could earn a WOW by providing an initial deposit in the account – maybe a share of Apple stock or shares of a growth fund. Do you think that they will remember you for this? Do you think they will tell their friends about you?