When was the last time you were truly ‘WOWED?”
I bet you remember the moment because it probably doesn’t happen to you often. And, I’ll bet you’ll agree with me that there’s a depressing lack of “WOW” in the world today!
Merely doing satisfactory things for satisfied customers, friends or family is a ‘greens fee’ today.
And sadly, the majority of us do not.
We do the least required to get along and wake up wondering why our relationships ended. I suggest that a lot of relationships break up because of a lack of wow and mutual appreciation.
How do you wow?
I find that it’s best for me to practice and plan to wow. What works best for me, is to bake a little wow into my marketing processes so I don’t forget about how to wow. That is, I work hard to review my tasks in front of and behind me, to see if I have any wow opportunities and then take steps to take advantage of them.
- Say “yes” often
- Guarantee results
- Be quick to respond
- Inspire others to action
- Be kind, nice and courteous
- Add value to someone’s life
- Smile and maintain eye contact
- Find ways to surprise and delight
- Send handwritten thank you cards
- Offer options instead of mandatories
- Anticipate others needs and satisfy them
- Provide individualized customer service
- Be in the moment, focused and actively listen
- Write notes when taking input and directions
- Have manners – say ‘’please” and “thank you’
- Be enthusiastic, optimistic, happy and pleasant
- Be sincerely grateful and humble with your successes
- Prove your concern with an exacting attention to detail
- Be welcoming, approachable, reachable and hospitable
- Follow-up regularly to build relationships – reach out first
- Be organized, clean and stress free – a welcome, caring refuge
- Reward friendship and loyalty with unexpected acts of added value
- Get feedback after your actions and provide service “after the sale”
- Find out what’s been bothering someone and customize your solution
- Be calm, understanding and accept responsibility when you fail or lose
- Do ‘remark’able signature work with the basics and in any encounter
- Be trustworthy – keep your promises and respect others in their absence
- Keep your promises – in fact, underpromise and overdeliver
- Freely share insight and knowledge
- Always follow the “Golden Rule”
Do you have any to add?
I’m far from perfect, that’s why lists like these help me. Try just 2 or 3 this week and I’ll bet you’ll see an immediate positive impact in your relationships.
Sure, these wow tips might be common, but like most common things they work and they’re easily overlooked, forgotten and opportunities become lost.
Remember…“To do a common thing, uncommonly well, brings success.” – Henry John Heinz – yeah…that Heinz!
I say unique, because when you consider this chart, you’ll see that many industries are not highly trusted. This online U.S. Harris Poll was conducted on November 8 and 15, 2010 among 2,151 adults 18+.
Trust in a brand (personal or business) is the keystone of all relationships. By doing the right thing/s, you an earn a person’s trust, but it’s easy to lose it – and you can lose it quickly – practically overnight regardless of your past reputation.
Here my 10 ways to build trust:
- Be authentic – be real
- Lead with integrity and humility
- Be honest, don’t lie and always tell the truth
- Be objective, fair and consistent in your actions
- Don’t gossip – respect people in their absence
- Keep your promises by doing what you say you’re going to do
- Don’t take people for granted – anticipate needs, don’t just react
- Be open and transparent on your dealings and provide clear information
- Always do your best and give your engagements everything you’ve got
- Be a Servant Leader by putting others best interest ahead of your own
If you follow these 10 ways to build trust in your brand, “they (your customers)” will come again and again. Trust me.
Yesterday, I had dinner with some old friends at a quaint family owned and operated Italian restaurant. The restaurant menu, had seven specials listed with no descriptions – just the entree name – and no prices. However, the rest of the menu had full menu descriptions and prices.
The server simply passed out the menus and offered no detail or prices. I wondered why the owner (and others too) refused to put more detail on the ‘special menu.’ So, when we asked for the pricing and description of some of the entrees, it certainly slowed down our order and sped up our frustration.
There is no benefit to the guest by not including feature prices or menu descriptions. In fact, there are several potential customer negatives such as:
- ‘Sticker Shock’ when you get the bill
- Shame/embarrassment for having to ask
Now, there should be no shame in asking about prices, but you could find it embarrassing to ask if/when you’re on that first date, with important clients, well-to-do friends etc.
Why restaurants follow this practice is way off base to me and has no upside except to trick customers into paying more. It’s a bush league practice and should stop.
My second experience involves my soon to be ex wireless carrier Sprint. I’ve been a Sprint customer for nearly 10 years when the company first started in the PCS business. In fact, I helped launch the brand in Western PA and Western NY.
Yesterday, I had a contract with Sprint through May (5 more months), but this morning I accidentally dropped my phone into a toilet – yes, but a clean one! Needless to say, Blackberries don’t float and do not work after such a dunking!
So off to the Sprint store to get a replacement. After spending a few unplanned hundreds of dollars on a new phone, I was required to sign 2 year extended contract because it’s a new phone – my service plan did not change! What insanity! I question the legality of such a practice – and you can count on the fact that I’ll pursue a challenge starting tomorrow.
Is it any wonder why Sprint’s stock has been in the toilet like my Blackberry was this morning? Note: I loved my Blackberry – just don’t care for my Sprint service. And, I care less about it a lot more today than I did yesterday.
So the easy lesson to learn today is that you need to work harder on being easier to do business with your colleagues, vendors and clients. When you consider the success of many of today’s superstar brands such as:
- L.L. Bean
..being “Nice & EASY” is definitely a key reason for their success – so remember…easy does it!
I’ve been a fan of Groupon since one of our Pittsburgh restaurant clients launched the city’s first promotional campaign. And, I’ve become a bigger fan since other hospitality clients have achieved success and after discovering that Groupon founder Andrew Mason is a Pittsburgh (Mt. Lebanon) native – you go guy!
If you read the marketing trades you’ll find some complaints about the lack of profitability of using Groupon as a marketing tactic, but I’d bet that those complainers were not prepared to take advantage of the popular loss leader strategy.
Here are ten profitable Groupon marketing tips.
1. Say “NO” if you’re below. Below average that is. In short, you do not want to feature your brand in a Groupon campaign if you don’t “bring it.” That is, if you sell lousy food (even marginally or mediocre OK), have poor service etc., you do not want to do Groupon! If you do not “deliver the goods”, Grouponers may simply put you out of business earlier than you would normally through negative reviews online etc.!
2. Get buy-in to prevent crying. Far in advance of your scheduled launch, talk through the campaign pros/cons of Groupon with your staff. Get their buy-in early on and clearly explain why everyone needs to be engaged in this huge loss leader effort and why you’ll need all hands and minds on deck to flawlessly execute the campaign. Tell them, “what’s in it for them!”
3. Map your cap. Cap the total number of deals you provide to Grouponers. This creates urgency and protects margins since the offer deadlines are long. Plus, you need to make sure you can handle the traffic. Sure you want to make short term money – you always do – but your eyes need to be on the prize of repeat business!
4. Don’t wreck your average check. Make sure your deal/offer does not match you average check/purchase to allow for upsell and add-on sales opportunities. And, a lower price tag protects you as well on total customer acquisition costs. Keep in mind that you’re earning around 1/4th of what you’d usually make in an average sale which means you’re losing 3/4ths on virtually every sale.
5. Don’t laugh – add staff. Trust me – make sure you add staff to handle increases in store traffic, phone calls and web hits during and after the sale. You’ll need it!
6. Right your Website. It’s highly likely that your Web site has never seen the kind of traffic it will see on your Groupon day. Make certain your brand’s value proposition is clear, meaningful and relevant throughout your Website and especially on your home page because it’s going to get pounded. And, fix your typos, broken links etc., – net, clean it up! Also, monitor your Groupon comments on your “game day” and answer questions there as well on your social media channels.
7. Up-sell, cross sell and do well. Train your customer facing personnel to up-sell and cross-sell and guide all Grouponers to more profitable add-ons. However, make sure you have lots of exciting ones to offer too.
8. Train to explain. Carefully review (and test their knowledge) your Groupon procedures and rules of the game with all team members so they in turn can explain the campaign to customers, friends and family. You need to do this crucial step to ensure viral communications and no surprised/unhappy customer experiences. Make certain everyone is happy to take Groupon customers and consider putting someone in charge to answer escalated questions and make on the spot decisions to satisfy customer concerns.
9. Retain and gain. Since Groupon does not give up its email database and/or the contact information of customers who take advantage of your offer, it’s critical you have a system (recording system and/or additional incentive for customers/staff) in place to capture valuable new customer contact information (e.g., email addresses, mailing addresses, cell phone numbers, birthdays etc.,). You’ll also want to track your success with regard to add-ons, average check/transaction, redemption rates, repeat business and more to determine your success and key learnings should you do it again – consider a customer survey too!
10. Show how to WOW now. A ton of your Grouponers will be new customers (and might be bringing other new customers in with them) and may be unfamiliar with your unique value proposition, but you have a great – maybe once in a lifetime – opportunity to WOW them, make them repeat customers and spread your good word. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity. Be a servant leader and SERVE lights out!