Actions speak louder than words. Occasionally, when creating a great customer experience a business will have to go above and beyond for its customers. These little WOW moments can easily take a repeat customer and make them loyal. They can even take a loyal customer and make them into a brand advocate.
Author and thought-leader Peter Shankman shares an interesting story about this subject. He was about to get on a flight and hadn’t eaten much that day. As a big fan of Morton’s Steakhouse, before his flight took off he jokingly sent them a tweet, asking to be met at his destination airport with a steak. Thinking that was the end of the story he went about his travels. To his surprise and delight, upon arrival at his destination airport a Morton’s Steakhouse employee was waiting for him with not only a steak, but all the side dishes as well. Imagine how that affected his perception of Morton’s.
An experience like this is too wonderful for Shankman not to share on his social media and it garnered a lot of positive attention for Morton’s. But that’s not quite the point. The point is this: He will continue to love Morton’s and this story will be told many times more. In fact, here I am telling his story seven years later.
Are there examples of exceptional customer experience in the auto industry? Certainly. Inspired by this story, I heard about an incident where a conference attendee sitting in a session tweeted out that he could really use a cup of coffee. Well, conference management were listening. They figured out which session the attendee was in and took him a cup of coffee – without disturbing the session. What do you think that attendee thought about the conference after that? He was certainly impressed and shared the story via social media – and told it throughout the conference to his peers.
It is important for every business to be ready to make a difference, listening to customers and finding those WOW opportunities, or they will be perceived as if they don’t care. I’m not saying that you need to do extraordinary things such as delivering steaks. But that act of delivering a simple cup of coffee took minimal effort and accomplished the same effect.
Finding small things to make the customer’s day a little more special can have a huge impact on loyalty without taking a bite out of your bottom line. In the end, it’s not how expensive the gesture is, but simply showing the customer that you heard… and, more importantly, cared. And that’s what will make a difference.