The Pow of Wow!

Sorry about the title 🙁 It started off as “The Power of Wow“, but creative license battled better English and got control of my typing fingers.

This morning, I co-facilitated a sales and customer service training session in Vancouver that the Better Business Bureau put on for its accredited members. My co-facilitator was caught in traffic (code for “late”), so I started the session by telling the small business owners that I was presently reading a few business books. One of the books was,

“Pow! Right Between the Eyes: Profiting from the Power of Surprise” by Andy Nulman

so I asked the audience, when they had last surprised a customer.

I explained that customers expect you to do a great job and provide first class customer service at a reasonable price. Doing all of that gets you a passing grade…say a C. So, how do you get an A or A+ ? I used the example of a limo driver, who always gives female passengers a rose after each trip. It’s that extra “Wow, I didn’t expect that” that gets customers talking about you and spreading the word on their social network.

After some discussion, we came up with some marketing tips that almost any small business could use to generate some excitement from their customers.

Partner with a compatible business to give customers something extra.

A bathroom installer gave his customers a 50% off coupon for a local spa. (His price – minimal)

An exterminator company partnered with a cleaning service. They each referred the other and gave the customers a good discount.

A roofing company gave their re-roofed customers a landscaping cleanup. If the landscaper got a regular contract from the homeowner, there was no cost to the roofer.

Have the boss follow up by phone the day after the customer has received the product or service to find out if they rated an A+ and if not, what they had to do to make the experience an A+ experience.

Randomly, give a gift to 10% of the smaller customers, who you would not normally treat.

Marketing, like customer service is the gift that keeps on giving.