The phrase “Delighting your customers can become your competitive advantage” is more accurate now than ever before. Personalization is the key. As my friend, David Glickman puts it, “The more specific the service, the more terrific the service.” Your competition may copy your products, lower the prices, or offer similar benefits; however, something they can’t copy is the experience people have when they buy from you.
Unarguably, creating wow experiences increases your chances of customer retention down the line. But beyond just retention, delighting or wowing customers shows you genuinely care about them as a person first, before their money. From handwritten notes to freshly baked cookies or super tasty cups of ice cream on a scorching day —a simple gesture can go a long way toward strengthening customer loyalty.
That’s why today we’ll be talking about five ways to wow your customers that they gladly go on to become your unofficial brand ambassadors.
Just Check In
How would you feel if your favorite brand, or one of the businesses you patronized the other day, sends you an email out of the blue, not to advertise something or remind you of an offer but just to check up on you? Honestly, I’d be delighted! One way to wow people is not to always be selling them but just checking in and letting them know you care.
Ultimately, the red-carpet service centers on the warm connection and relationship you build with your customers, especially now with the pandemic and lockdown trauma. You could simply hop on a quick Zoom call, send a lovely email, or place a phone call through, just to check in on them. Reach out and ask how they’re doing. Ask about their family. Ask about their cat. Find out what’s going on in their world and how you can help in the future. It’s good for customers to know you’re thinking of them even when you don’t have something on the calendar.
Personalized Handwritten Notes
Okay, I know this isn’t a new idea, but many people still don’t do it. That’s why it’s so effective. It doesn’t have to be on their birthday, or any special occasion, just a random handwritten note to them will never fail to warm their heart.
“But I’m so busy! I never have the time!” you might be thinking. The answer is to systematize it. Every Friday or whichever day of the week you pick, all you do is write handwritten notes randomly to your customers for one hour. It’s one thoughtful effort that shows you value their business. There are also services like www.handwrytten.com to make it even easier.
Remember and Refer
If a customer shares a significant milestone with you, an important date, their favorite tea or coffee, or even a birthday, strive to remember them! When you retain the tiny details that your customers share and refer to them again in another conversation, it tells them you’re paying attention. It makes them feel special, cared for, and important.
For instance, if you were interacting with a customer and it slipped that she just dropped off her daughter at her ballet class, it’d be such a delight to refer back to it in your next conversation like “How’s the ballet class going for your daughter?”. Remembering little details as these will never fail to wow and warm their hearts. People love to know they were listened to when they shared information, and a surprise card, a gift at that milestone, or just showing up with their brand of coffee when next they come for their appointment will let customers know that you listen and you care.
Add a Little Unexpected Extra
Another way to wow your customers is to do something unexpected —go a little extra mile for them. That’s a certain wow factor. One example that comes to mind is when we needed a production company to film a customer’s videos, and we found the brilliant people from Broadcast Media Group in Mississippi. I’ll tell you why they won us over.
It was the first time we were going to Mississippi, and we called about three production companies for inquiry. After the phone call with Robbie from Broadcast Media, they sent us the information we needed relating to our project. Then they went the extra mile to add information about where to eat in Tupelo, Mississippi, where to stay, and some places we might want to visit while we were there. It was a simple gesture but a significant wow factor! And as a result, we hired them for the Mississippi project, and (due to continued red carpet service), we use them for customer videos we produce all over the country.
Everybody loves a kind, unexpected extra, and that’s the truth. It mustn’t necessarily be something worth hundreds of dollars but just the little spontaneous gestures such as; tossing in some candies into a customer’s shopping bag, walking them to the car with their heavy bags, sending a free toolkit e-book after an inquiry, a random free delivery, or even a surprise upgrade if you run some sort of VIP membership. These relatively tiny unexpected acts go a long way to wow your customers.
Send Personalized Video Greetings
Beyond the regular greeting cards and emails, you could go a step further to sending personalized video greetings. Imagine opening an email from a brand and finding an embedded video featuring team members wishing you a happy birthday or holiday. You might rave about it for days and tell everyone who cares to listen how they’re the best! You necessarily don’t need the whole filming crew to create one. Just turn on your smartphone camera or webcam, hit the record button, and create heart-warming short video greetings.
Surprising customers is not necessarily a matter of money but creativity. Take any opportunity to create a memorable experience. Remember, customers who are continually surprised and delighted are more likely to become advocates. Do you want an unofficial PR team? Then get on with wowing your customers!
Donna Cutting is the Founder & CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Worldwide and the author of 3 books including 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers (Career Press, 2015) and the forthcoming Employees First! Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the Heart of Your Organization (Career Press, March, 2022). For more tips subscribe to www.theredcarpetway.tv. Headshot photo credit: treadshots.com