Are you boring your customers?

Bored When was the last time you told a friend about an experience you had that was absolutely ordinary? A meal that was good. Customer service that was adequate. Nothing wrong…but nothing special either.

We sure notice when a product or service falls below our expectations but give us just what we expect and we’re pretty underwhelmed.

Actually, we’re jaded. We don’t notice, let alone talk about the ordinary. The expected. The good enough. We don’t get excited unless something extraordinary happens. That’s how we live our lives as consumers.

But when we put on our marketing hat, we’re astonished that the marketplace doesn’t applaud our efforts every day. Truth be told…many organizations are satisfied with just delivering satisfactory.

You don’t have to create a circus in your consultation room or have minstrels wandering through your store. You don’t have to serve gourmet snacks outside the dressing room. But you do have to find a way to infuse something remarkable into your product or service.

Now here’s the tricky part – it also has to be genuine. Consumers are not only jaded but they’re smart.  Rightfully so – they hate being manipulated and they can spot insincerity a mile away. So a manufactured moment feels forced and insulting. The trick to creating the extraordinary is that it needs to come from the heart. The heart of the organization. Your brand.

It’s not as hard as you might think to take the leap to extraordinary. Take stock. Scrutinize every time you interact with a client and let your imagination off its leash.  How could you change that moment and go beyond good to reach for spectacular? What would feel special and genuine from both your customers and your employees’ point of view?

What could you do that’s worth talking about?

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8 comments on “Are you boring your customers?

  1. Hey there Drew!

    I made my way here through someone else’s blog…

    I thought I would lend my thoughts here…
    “The first step to being a real leader is to figure out exactly who you are and be that all the time.” Cathie Black

    If you can be true to your voice…your interactions with people are fueled by passion and these instances create stories that resonate with them. And if you’re in the service industry, it’s that unique experience that creates a buzz for the brand that is you. Your customers are your best sales force…they’re walking advertisements of the brand that is you.

    So what could I do that’s worth talking about? Everything that they ask and more! From beginning to end…business and beyond!

  2. In fact, while it should be the ultimate goal of any provider to be extraordinary at every level, sometimes all it takes to be remarkable is to be extraordinary at ONE thing! By making one thing great at a time – then moving on to the next area – you can still stand out, while making a realistic evolution from ordinary to spectacular.

  3. Aren’t the companies that provide extraordinary service the ones that standout? The first one that comes to mind is Singapore Airlines. Immaculate service in every single aspect. No wonder they are such a pleasure to fly, and use so much free word of mouth as a result of their attention to detail.

  4. Seni Thomas says:

    Hey drew,

    Just wanted to share this article I wrote a while back that really encapsulates what your discussing, within the frame work of The Expectation Gap.

  5. Ricardo,

    Nice to have you here — welcome!

    Great quote. You could substitute the word “brand” for leader and it would still ring very true. So, I’m going to infer that you’re in the service industry. Can you give me a concrete example of something you do that is “talk about” worthy?


  6. Steve,

    A very good point. And in fact, I don’t think you can be extraordinary in all things. I think it’s better to be utterly remarkable in a few areas or as you say, even in just one, than to spread yourself too thin and over promise.

    Can you think of a company you’ve run across that has mastered this?


  7. Piotr,

    Yes….that’s the trick. To be memorable enough that people can’t help but talk about you. Have you flown Singapore Air? If so….can you give us an example of one thing they did that you have told others about?


  8. Seni,

    Great article — thank you for sharing. So how does one create a great expectation gap without having the potential client begin the interaction with a bad expectation?

    Wouldn’t that be the biggest gap? I think you are going to stink and then…shift it to, you were fantastic?

    Or do we all start at the same place…I assume you will be “fine” and ordinary? So WOW me?


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