Donald Trump, move over. There is another high voltage marketer in the Big Apple. Dateline has featured him, and the New York Times has written about him. His name is Michael Shvo. His salespeople are on duty 24/5. They show real estate property 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Would be clients may work day shifts, or fly in from Europe during midnight to 6 am. The conversion rate, the chance of turning a customer into a buyer, is higher in the middle of the night Shvo claims. The more unlikely the hour, the more likely they are to purchase.
You didn’t see it coming, and now it’s too late? The customer delight phase of customer service passed you by. Well, not quite. You still have time to delight clients and prospects. It’s not enough to satisfy them anymore. Satisfaction won’t stimulate word of mouth or retain a client, customer, prospect, patient, or guest. Satisfaction will neutralize the consequences. They won’t say negative things about you, but they won’t say positive things either. Your status will hover, unless you delight.
So how do you delight? One way to delight is to create a memorable experience. If you exceed everyone’s expectations, you create an incredible advantage in the market place. This is true whether the market place is the client market, your internal employee market, or your prospective market.
The process of customer delight can start before the prospect is a customer.
Robert A. Lutz is the General Motors Vice Chairman by day. The saying goes the difference between a boy and a man is the size of his toys. This man’s toys are two fighter jets. In addition to his G.M. regulation white business cards, he has printed his own. They picture the former fighter pilot in front of his French-German fighter jet. No mention of his day job. Do you think that when he hands that card to someone he creates delight?
At Starbucks and Quicken Loans the challenge to delight starts in the recruiting phase. At Quicken Loans, they organize a “road rally” in which teams of recruiters blitz carefully selected shopping malls. They hunt for employees who stand out by virtue of their energy, enthusiasm, and rapport with customers, according to The New York Times. Starbuck’s has evolved a “candidate bill of rights, handwritten notes over response letters, and Starbuck’s cards as goodwill gestures whether or not an applicant gets a job offer. The quest to delight is not reserved for their external market.
The question becomes, did you do something today to delight someone?
That someone could be a prospect, client, new recruit or current employee.
Employees are our internal customers. They need to be delighted too.
So how do you delight prospects and clients?
Let’s look at ways that companies have figured out to go beyond satisfaction.
Some hospitals realize that their market may see them as a commodity. So how do they differentiate? More importantly, how do they delight? To delight does differentiate. Some hospitals have turned to sleep number mattresses for all patient beds. Now that’s delight.
Some hotel chains have figured out a new way to delight. They train behind the counter check-in personnel to come around the counter and act as a hotel guide walking the guest to the elevator and pointing out the sites along the way. Delight.
Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks knows a thing or two about customer delight. At the last game of the regular season he gave every fan in attendance a FREE American Airline ticket. Bobble heads are fun, but a free ticket on a major airline, Big delight-BIG.
Sometimes the road to delight meets an obstacle. The invoice said to call 24/7 to pay the bill. So one Sunday I decided to shorten my work week by one task on the dreaded to-do list. 24/7 was the offer and I was the taker. I dialed the 800 number with excitement and trepidation. The excitement lasted until I got the recording that said office hours were 9-5 on weekdays. Why the disconnect? Why did the invoice say in bold letters to pay 24/7?
Of course I called on Monday to say I was not delighted. It’s always easier to point out shortcomings in others. Do you or your business have a disconnect? If you make customer delight your goal, then you need to as Nike says, just do it.
Purchasing 20,000 airline tickets may not be in your budget, and working 24/5 may not be in your schedule. But that doesn’t change the fact that you need to create customer delight.