The Twenty-Four Hour WOW
Former American Idol judge Simon Cowell often commented that even though a contestant's performance was good, and sometimes even quite good, nobody will remember it in twenty-four hours. It wasn't a wow. This is exactly the difference between good service and an extraordinary experience.
I've recently spoken with any number of businesses who tell me how good their service is. Even if that's the case (and sometimes it's not) most customers aren't going to remember it a day later. It's not a twenty-four hour wow.
Some people might say it's okay to have service that's only "good" as long as the customer makes a purchase. And that’s fine if you’re in a transactional business, but most businesses need more than that. They need to deliver something the customer remembers beyond the next day to drive them back again.
Just as important is getting the customer to tell family and friends about the business. The experiences that WOW the customer and stay with them are exactly what customers tell people about when they're advocating for a business.
What makes an experience stay with the customer longer than one day?
First and foremost, something occurs that is different from what the customer will experience at any other business that day. That's why I believe offering the customer a drink and/or something to eat works. It simply doesn't happen that often.
Think about it. Does a person tell her friends, "They're the store that gives people space to shop?" (Something I've heard many times.) Or is someone more likely to say, "They're the nice store that offered us a drink and some cheese and crackers." It's a great differentiator.
Another way to make a long-term impression is do something personal for your customer that exceeds his/her expectations. We call that deliver The Sixth Star.
There's always a way to do something special and personal for a customer. It can be something as simple as helping them with their child or walking them to the door. The key is to be looking for the opportunity, and then act on it.
Here's today's challenge. As each customer leaves ask yourself, "Will that person remember this experience twenty-four hours from now?" If the answer is "no," attempt to create a twenty-four hour wow with the next customer.
If the answer is yes, chances are you just created one or more sales in your future, and I bet that customer might also be walking out with a purchase, too.
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