This is the most powerful, most fun concept of the marketing—it’s so indescribable, in fact, that we still don’t have a name for it. It became known around the office as the “Value Thingy”. -Trademark pending.
What we’re talking about is becoming priceless. Creating an uncommon, unexpected experience for your customer. We’re talking about bringing value that can’t be paid for by infusing your product, service and customer engagement with personal, genuine, and delightful details. Mastering this idea means you will build the true customer connection and loyalty you are looking for.
I’ll say that again, compete on experience, not price. Sounds like something that should require magic beans, doesn’t it? Nope. In fact, most of what you’ll need is either cheap or free. If you do spend money it won’t be a mass targeted print ad. I can’t give you a recipe (it has to be unique and genuine, remember?), but I can share with you how to create an experience that sells itself and makes clients, both fans and friends and walking advertisements. I know that many of you have made those connections with customers, too, and I’d love to hear from you!
Creating Connection Through Experience
There are lots of reasons to focus on your client’s experience. Bringing joy and doing the unexpected just feels good. It makes your job more rewarding, and it thrills your customers. Your product or service earns rave reviews from your customers, and their friends come to your business, not for a bargain, but because it’s worth every penny. That’s value that can only come from experience.
In a marketplace where competition is seemingly everywhere, and more and more people compete on price, differentiating your product or service and being valuable to your clients is EVERYTHING. It isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s necessary for survival.
Master Education and Experience With Heart
There are two things you can deliver to your clients in every interaction: education and experience. Both are important, and they build on each other.
Be The Wiz
In the early stages of the marketing funnel, we’re focused on awareness. There’s a good chance that a customer is coming to your brand for the first time.
They may have heard horror stories or great stories about other products, and they’ve probably gathered important tips based on the experiences of their friends, but they have no idea exactly what to expect from your company. Educating clients and guiding them through the process is something you can’t take for granted. This is an easy way to shine, and it’s often overlooked.
Bring the Wow
Experience is the difference between great and world-class. It’s the difference between your clients feeling satisfied and blown away. It’s the little details, the unexpected extras that make the client feel truly appreciated. Bringing the wow is as fun and easy as it is important. It requires nothing more than your attention, and a genuine interest in bringing joy to your clients. When your team focuses on creating the best possible experience, you automatically create your own, higher standards, and giving clients more than they paid for just happens.
Most of us live in Education mode, adding little splashes of Experience as we go. We guide our clients through the funnel we have painstakingly designed. We give them everything they need, answer their questions, and provide great service. That’s our job, and we do it well. Education mode will allow you to be successful, but it won’t earn you the rave reviews that will bring customers to your door. World-class experience will.
Little Gestures have BIG impact
Once you start looking for ways to wow your clients, you’ll see them everywhere. The things that may feel routine to you and me are a great place to start. Are there little details you know to look for, common oversights by customers that you get over and over? Yes, yes, and YES!
Here’s a great example of listening and helping to educate a customer before they make a mistake. This video no doubt came from a lot of broken glasses and sadness. Warby Parker creates helpful videos for customers like this one before they try adjusting their glasses on their own.
What better way to make a great first impression than to proactively do things that will help your clients? You don’t have a crystal ball, but you know many of the questions that will come up. Why not create short helpful videos, blogs, and other resources as a way to anticipate their needs?
Use your superpowers: Your team knows your product better than anyone. Any opportunity you have to point out, take care of or correct the small details that help your client solve a problem make your company a lifesaver.
Find ways to celebrate and support your client. The ability to make people feel seen is the closest thing to a superpower that I know of. It doesn’t involve a lab accident, and you don’t need magical ancestry to have it—you just have to give a damn and make a habit of expressing it. Show people that you’re excited about them, let them know that you see, them, and you’re here for what they need. Thank you cards, checking in on them, or even just confirming that everything went well with their purchase. The easiest way to celebrate your customers is to LISTEN.
Listen to your customers. Get feedback. Take a break from selling your product and ask questions. You will learn valuable information that will help you delight your customer.
Bond, a technology-based thank you note company was created by Founder & CEO, Sonny Caberwal with the idea, “Think about how thoughtful it can be to make someone else feel special.”
According to this New York Times article being thoughtful pays off. “A Fortune 500 retailer tested the service by sending personalized thank-you notes to some of its best customers. Those customers...ended up spending, on average, $16 more each month...and returned 33 percent less merchandise.”
Please note: YOU CAN’T COPY THESE. You wouldn’t copy someone else’s thank you note, would you? The message needs to be your message created by listening to your customers. The idea behind Becoming Priceless is no one can compete with the experience your team can provide when you listen to your customers. They cannot have the conversation that you are having. Becoming Priceless takes a little more effort and thought but comes with huge rewards.
Yes, these things cost money, but they are almost pennies compared to what you would spend on advertising campaigns. Here’s another great example from Warby Parker of creating delight in less than 10 seconds.
Creating Delight in Less Than 10 Seconds
“Each video has about 120 views (per tweet response). Now we’re creating something that lives on the second largest search engine in the world (YouTube). 2,000+ videos in 18 months.” –Warby Parker Blog
Creating ads and blasting email lists can make it seem almost impossible to stand out right? Doesn’t seem like a great way to compete to me. Focusing inward on current clients has proven to be far cheaper, lucrative, and a lot more fun!
Are you ready to start creating experiences that delight? Here’s your homework. Find 1 unique way to educate a customer that you are not currently using.
Now practice delight. Start with 3 clients. Find a way to surprise them based on interactions your team has had. It’s possible you haven’t been listening and that’s okay. Send an email to check-in. They’ll be sure to give you a tidbit of info you can use.