We all want it: score a 9+ among our customers. Because customer appreciation means loyalty, enthusiasm and a high degree of recommendation. Research has shown that this recommendation rate is the best indicator of sustainable revenue growth. But how do you score a 9+? How do you create ultimate fans of your brand and product? Be inspired by these five special real-life examples!
Whoever meets expectations, at best ensures copying behavior: seeing others buying, makes you buy. If you do more, you rise above that, people will also recommend your brand if requested. If you do it exceptionally well, and you actually give a customer or guest what they have NOT asked for, you win ultimate fans who shout it off as a super promoter of your brand. Surprising and exceeding your customer's expectations is the best way to boost the appreciation for your brand. As an organization, you always must take that extra step. Looking for the WoW effect. And that is not so easy. Therefore, I have listed a few examples for you, as inspiration.
Tony Hsieh, the co-founder and CEO of Zappos.com, and one of his teams spent some time with a few Skechers executives at a conference years ago. Back at the hotel, one of Skechers' executives wanted a pizza. Room service was unfortunately not available at this time. Tony Hsieh challenged one of the Skechers managers to call Zappos customer service. This was done with the loudspeaker function switched on. The Zappos employee on duty had no idea that the CEO of his own company was listening. The Skechers manager explained to the service representative the problem: hunger, pizza cravings, no room service. After a short break, the customer service representative came back on the line and gave the caller a list of pizzerias that were near the hotel and would deliver until late. To the great surprise of the Skechers manager. And Tony Hsieh? He was not surprised.
This chain has a reputation when it comes to employees with a sense of ownership. One of them, a desk clerk in Vancouver, introduced the idea of a "hotel dog" to guests who missed their own pet and those who wanted to take a dog for a walk after a strenuous day. It was an instant success among the guests. The initiative was enthusiastically picked up by the media, taken over by the rest of the hotel chain… and by the competition. One of the guests of the Fairmont in Boston was so gilded with the hotel dog that she decided to name her new dog "Fairmont".
Happy faces in the Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam. There, patients are allowed to drive to the operating room in a miniature Audi convertible. A fantastic initiative that gives children a nice distraction in a thrilling situation. It reduces pre-surgery stress and thus promotes the healing process. The project is such a success that the hospital has ordered an additional 11 cars. Noteworthy is another great initiative that distracts children, if only for a moment, from their illness: in Evelina's children's hospital in England, not ordinary window cleaners are cleaning windows, but Spiderman and Captain America. Which child is not happy with coming face to face with your superhero?
In view of the launch date of March 31, 2017 not really to be taken seriously, but nevertheless very playfully thought out: the Package retarder © from Coolblue. Create more fun with the customer thanks to an undefined delivery time. Exciting! And a perfect match with Coolbue's dream: "Extremely Coolblue. Just be amazed". With these two words combined they make the ordinary (delivery on time) special and vice versa. They exceed expectations by going the extra mile (a message, a card, personal advice) and that “slightly different”. With great success.
A while ago, we were with the family in the ‘Steak Fabriek’: a bite to eat before we went to the Glow festival. The main course arrived and in an unguarded moment my 3-year-old boy grabbed my friend's red-hot skewer, followed by a huge cry of pain. In no time an employee came running from the kitchen with a tube of fuel paste and another employee took my girlfriend's main dish back to the kitchen to keep it warm. A third employee immediately noticed that my son could use some distraction and started peppering my steak with a life-size pepper mill. Awesome. All the care and attention of a team, who did everything to give us an unforgettable evening. That worked, I am a fan (and with my son everything is completely ok again).
It is the attentive attitude, the extra mile, the pleasant surprise and the smile that these things bring about, through which customers, guests and patients reward these organizations with a 9+. And that is important. Because, as Frederick F. Reichheld, founder of the Net Promoter Score, has shown, recommendation intent is the best predictor of revenue growth. No wonder nowadays, wherever you go, you are asked about your customer experience. If you want to score, you must first know the score.
But there is more to be gained from these examples: they also show that you can only achieve a 9+, if your own employees are also fans of their work and the brand. The opposite also applies here: if employees are not a fan of work and brand, you will only score six or less and your customers will not return. Because not bad service, but experiencing indifference, disinterest of the service provider proves to be the most important reason for customers to drop out. Conclusion: focus on your employees as well as on your customers and fan-ergize your enterprise!
If you want to know more about how the customer and employee journey relate to each other, do not hesitate to call us. If you already want to get started, I can highly recommend the following reading: