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Newsletter #908: The “Make It a Big Deal” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

A great customer experience is the perfect talking point. Your customers will take notice, they’ll tell their friends, and they’ll come back. Here are some ideas to get started:

1. Make the mundane fun
2. Lay down the law
3. Let them skip the line
4. Check it out: Food on Mars

1. Make the mundane fun

Surprise your customers by making the mundane experiences delightful. We’ve all left something behind at a hotel — but when that hotel is the Ritz-Carlton, they just might do something great. When one child forgot his beloved stuffed giraffe, the Ritz-Carlton decided shipping the giraffe back with a nice note was not enough. Instead, they sent back the toy with a binder full of pictures of the giraffe lounging in a beach chair, enjoying a massage, and helping out with the Loss Prevention Team before making the trip home. This backed up the parents’ story that the giraffe was just enjoying the vacation a little longer, and inspired dad, CEO of Mercantile Capital Corporation, to make a video testimonial.

The lesson: What part of “business as usual” could you make into something extraordinary?

Learn more: Brains On Fire

2. Lay down the law

You can make suggestions to help customers have a great experience, but you can’t force them to follow the rules — or can you? The Prince Charles Cinema in London is serious about a great movie experience. If you talk, check your phone, or exhibit any other rude behaviors during the movie, you can expect a ninja to kick you out. Literally. These ninjas are volunteers in black, full-body “zentia” suits who patrol the theater during a movie. This kind of fanatical customer experience keeps the peace in a serious, yet entertaining way.

The lesson: Get serious about your customer experience. How can you make following the rules a part of a great time?

Learn more: /Film

3. Let them skip the line

Making someone feel special gives them a reason to give you a try, a reason to talk, and a reason to come back. Phil’s BBQ in San Diego has a long line that’s supposedly worth the wait. But potential customers may not be convinced yet. That’s why Phil’s BBQ lets you skip the line on your birthday. Phil’s finds a way to make your birthday a big deal in a crowded restaurant (that’s a lot more remarkable than the usual serenade from the wait staff).

The lesson: There’s always a way to make your average customer feel special that won’t cost you a dime.

4. Check it out: Food on Mars

Attention to detail can make for a great customer experience. It can also freak you out when it comes to mysterious images in your food. Here’s some Rorschach-like photos of meals.

Check it out: Feature Shoot

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