I hope you’re not good. Good is fine. Acceptable. Meets my expectations. Good is boring. In fact, for most of us — it’s invisible.
When was the last time you told a friend about an experience you had that was good? A meal that was good. Customer service that was adequate. Nothing wrong…but nothing special either?
You didn’t — right? Something extraordinary (good or bad) needs to happen to get you to tell someone about it.
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?
IMHO the answer lays in the passion you have for your own product, your own service, your own business. That’s genuine, can’t be faked and creates 9 times out of 10 that ‘spectacular’ excellence.
Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)
You are exactly right. It is why I hate the phrase “satisfied customer” (or client). I don’t strive to satisfy my clients; I strive to create a great experience for them.
Great post, Drew.
For professional service providers, using the mail is a great way to stand out. I recently received a magazine from my Realtor she thought I’d enjoy. I was impressed.
I often send my copywriting clients articles I’ve written or found I think they’ll find useful, along with a short handwritten note. In this electronic age, something about spending the time to address an envelope and write a message really makes a difference.
Megan Tsai, Red Wagon Writing
In a small shop…that works because everyone shares the same passion.
The trick is, how do you infuse that kind of passion down 6 layers of employees to the part-timer who only puts in 20 hours a week?
That takes some serious commitment and focus, I think.
Think about your own business. You deliver excellence because it’s in your heart to do so. It’s your place.
I agree with you, btw. Just thinking about the implications for larger organizations.
Hmm, I hadn’t thought about that, but you’re right. A satisfied customer is a neutral one.
And we can’t afford to have too many of those!
You are so right. A hand-written note and a personalized gesture makes quite an impression these days.
Sometimes the old-fashioned way of marketing is still the best way.