Are you Creating the WOW for your Customers? In Blackboard Fridays Episode 51, Jacob talks about Customer Journey. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.
Basil Fawltey taught us that hotels run much more smoothly without guests. He wasn’t wrong … and he wasn’t profitable either. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, yet for too many customers being let down is more common than being delighted.
We’re all guilty of this from time to time, which means if we could more rapidly shift those clients from FAIL to WOW our businesses (and their lives) would be better for it.
In this week’s episode, discover:
- Why exceeding expectations sets us up for failure
- Who blame when that happens (Hint: it’s the customer)
- The common mistake made trying to fix the problem
And learn the simple ‘Expectations’ framework to help you more consistently deliver a ‘Meet-Wow’ experience with your customers.
Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?
“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.
Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.
At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.
You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.
Last week in our landmark 50th episode, we talked about setting the businessDEPOT way and creating change in the business top down such as vision, strategy, resources, systems, expectations and then the content of your business all powered by the business lifecycle that sits above it. But sometimes, you don’t actually need to go to that highest level. Often in business, the only thing causing issues in this stuff is that expectations have been misaligned.
So, this week and next week, we’re going to talk about the simple expectations framework to help you, your clients, and your team to create the wow. Now, we think about expectations often not when we’ve created the wow but when we’ve actually failed to meet an expectation. Now how do you feel when somebody fails to meet your expectations? Well, you normally feel pretty down, pretty bad, pretty bummed or possibly even frustrated or angry.
Compare that when somebody does wow you. How do you feel when you have been wowed? You’re going be great! You’re going be happy, you’re going to be ecstatic, overjoyed and then somewhere in the middle, there’s that middle ground where people meet your expectations. You’re not feeling amazing when expectations are met nor are you feeling down. In fact, sitting in between these two spaces and creating that emotional reaction with your clients is a good place to be. You can’t constantly live in the wow. Sometimes you need to just do what needs to be done.
It’s a simple approach. Do what needs to be done, occasionally exceed expectations, and ensure you don’t fail. But why is it that we get so frustrated as customers ourselves and we let down our own customers and clients through simple expectations? Well, there’s a couple of reasons. One is slippage. Often, we go above and beyond to try and create a wow, we don’t communicate clearly that that’s us going above and beyond.
We set the expectation with our clients that that is actually now just part of our standard service and then next time, when we don’t deliver what we think is a wow, the customer feels down because they were expecting it. Without even trying, we’ve managed to fail to meet their expectations. When you do decide to give those bonuses, go above and beyond. Make sure you communicate that that’s a one-time offer or a limited time offer.
There’s no point creating the wow for a client once if you’re setting yourself up to fail them over and over again. That’s the other way that we often create issues with our client base is mistakes happen, but we try and fix a fail with a wow. Now imagine this. You go to a cafe; you order a skinny flat white (your coffee of choice) and they failed to bring it out to you. You sit there for 10-15 minutes, all of the other customers get their order, they failed to deliver on your coffee, you’re going to feel pretty bad. What if their solution to that was to try and give you a free piece of cake? Now, a free piece of cake is a fantastic thing and it’s not something I’m going to argue with. But if I still haven’t actually got my skinny flat white, I’m still going to feel like a fail. I’m going to be down here.
So, when you have let your customers down, and it does happen, and there’s research that suggests that fixing a mistake actually creates more loyalty, when you have let the customers down, you need to rectify that problem, meet their initial expectations before you actually have an opportunity to exceed that and wow.
Now when you’re setting expectations with clients, there’s two final things that I want to communicate. The first is that you almost need to split this meeting of expectations. There are the expectations you set for your clients and there’s the expectations you set for your team. Ideally, the expectations you have for your team are higher than the expectations you set for your clients. Why is that? Because you want your team constantly creating the opportunity to go above and beyond.
You want to create those small wows for your clients as part of your general process. As I’ve shared some of those things will start to become standard expectations that your clients have, and that’s okay because you’re continually improving how your team do what they do.
The last thing around creating that wow for clients, really creating an impressive customer experience that’s memorable is about personalizing the bonuses that you offer to them. Too often, I see businesses that have a generic wow approach. We’re going to give every client a free bottle of wine (that’s going to impress them especially if they don’t drink or on a healthcare pregnant or have religious objections to drinking). If you personalize the approach that you go and give to those clients, they’re going to be genuinely wowed.
The best example I’ve ever seen of this was a company that did audio installation for home stereo systems. Now, they were premium, and they were top of the range and they knew that they had an opportunity to really wow their clients but the clients were expecting pretty high service. They weren’t going to be able to create that wow just by being on time or being polite.
So what they would do, and only for their best clients, is once the system had been installed, they would throw a party for the clients. I mean we’re talking $30,000-$40,000 sound systems here so spending a thousand of fifteen hundred dollars on a party for your clients is only a small portion of the bill. They could afford that, and the clients would love that.
The clients that they chose that they knew would love that. Because of course you’ve just installed a $40,000 stereo system, you want to show it off to your friends. You want to impress them and what better opportunity than a party that’s fully catered, fully licensed, it’s got waiters walking around, handing out hors d’oeuvres, and free champagne, and blaring great music from your stereo system.
That created an incredible wow for the clients. The clients would rave about it and of course, where did my client get his next three or four customers from? Well, they were the ones who are attending the party. So not only was he creating a wow for those great clients of his, but he was also feeding the referral engine to give him more and better clients moving forward. How are you creating the wow for your client base?
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