Get Your Customers Talking up a Storm about You.
My massage clinic was off to a good start. It was my first visit, and I was happy to spy the usual amenities: calm lighting, steaming hot tea, a quiet fountain. Nothing unpleasant, nothing out of the ordinary.
Then, as I was preparing to leave, the receptionist handed me a little something extra – a tiny care package. It had a candle, a tea bag, some Epsom salts, and various coupons for additional services. It was nice.
… but it was served up in a paper lunch bag.
During the holidays, my guy Leigh got me a custom-written mug from an Etsy dealer. (It says “Hello Beautiful,” awww!) Lovely gift! And the mug was shipped with a note from the seller.
… but it was typed up in Word, printed off, and hand-cut into a careless little slip.
I bring up these examples, not to nit-pick at these small businesses that are clearly trying, but because it demonstrates why most small businesses fall short of creating a wow factor in their brand experience.
Simply put, they’re not trying enough.
They’re settling for nice, instead of aiming for impressive. And, sadly, it’s because nobody’s pushing them to.
But not you! Today I’m challenging you to try harder. Or, specifically, to find one opportunity to add some wow.
Let’s talk about your customer experience.
There’s not a single remarkable brand out there that doesn’t have some kind of thrill built into their customer experience. When it comes to standing out in people’s minds, this stuff is low-hanging fruit!
So now, it’s your turn:
1) Find where you’re not trying.
There’s only one good way to do this, and it’s simple: walk in your customers’ shoes.
Brand perception is ultimately the accumulation of a customer’s experiences at each point of interaction along their journey. Each time they hear your name, interact with your website, your product, or your people – your brand is taking shape in their mind.
Where does this journey begin for most of your customers? Start there, and go through the steps. What is their experience like at each step along the way?
Stop when you hit a point that is delivering just the minimum.
That might be:
- When they join your mailing list
- When they request more information
- When they make their first purchase
- When they receive the purchase
- When you request feedback
Whatever it is, when you find a point in the experience that’s expected and ordinary, you’ve found an opportunity. Seize it!
2) Step it up (with intention.)
Finding the right way to step it up is just as important as putting in the effort in the first place. Your goal is to reinforce a specific kind of brand experience while going above and beyond their expectations.
What’s the something extra you can add that will suit your brand direction and personality?
Let me demonstrate by returning to my massage clinic example. Depending on the greater brand direction of the clinic, they might opt to improve upon the lunch bag in a number of ways:
For a luxury spa, perhaps by using an organza bag or a chic box.
For a fun and uplifting spa, by opting for a funky gift bag in bold colours.
For an eco-friendly spa, by offering up a reusable hemp bag, or earth-friendly box.
In each case, this small added effort would both a) add an unexpected wow-factor and b) communicate something important about the brand itself. That’s how customer experiences are orchestrated to create raving fans.
Follow this challenge and you will enhance one part of your customer’s journey today. But don’t stop there! Simply keep doing this same exercise again and again until you have a one-of-a-kind customer experience that’s truly worth mentioning.
Creating a wow-factor isn’t always about big gestures and grand expenditures. It can be about simple upgrades with a bit of creativity and special thought. (Tweet it!)
Share your outcomes of this challenge in the comments. What small upgrades did you make today? How are you already creating a wow-factor?