We live in a subdivision in Maitland Florida that has a single lane access to the loop road. When you come and go, someone may have already entered the single lane portion and if you have done so a few split seconds later you are second and must back out. It's almost a game of chicken.
Today, a Stanley Steemer van was already in the lane and we came barreling into the turn only to stop and start to back up but the van, who had right of way, was backing up for us.
I thought for a minute: this was a pretty nice gesture. What a branding moment!!
Of course, now I will think of Stanley when the next hurricane comes by and since you are reading this, you might also contact them for water damage, carpet cleaning, etc.
See how this works?
One good deed is memorialized and reported to someone else. And it goes viral.
It could be even considered a branding moment...
I started thinking about this a bit more and it can work for anyone in any business.
The most important point is the first below:
- Give more than the contract or agreement prescribes. Going the extra mile to add some services not anticipated will be memorable! There are always details and additional work that a client really appreciates, especially when you don't ask for reimbursement! What you do that can make their deal work better or a more secure transaction is a valuable service. You will be remembered before others. Leaving a positive impression, by offering a specialized service or extra footwork, is a short term action that yields long term benefits.
- Promote a business partner in your blogs or web. Mentioning with whom you are working and how well the relationship is beneficial to you both will make you memorable to them and they will likely think about you the next time they need someone with your services. Your name will be shared with their colleagues and clients, especially if they feature an article on their web and marketing materials.
- Networking for charitable events gets you out in the public eye and movers and shakers will remember you.
- Offering 'in house' options to make a deal work is sometimes an unanticipated gain in the mind of your client.
- A simple gesture goes a long way. If you just do this naturally, the world will be a better place.
- If you project confidence in your work and act like you love what you do, the vibes ring out and people notice.
- If you are perceived as genuinely caring, then you will instill trust. Very important.
- Send an industry update that pertains to the process your current clients are experiencing. Send them mortgage updates, local data, statistics, etc. This goes for previous clients whom you've closed.
- Pro Bono work of any kind is seen by others and keeps you in mind.
- Small perks, freely offered, add up!
- Volunteering for boards related to your field is one of the sleeper methods that draws a client to you before others as you are perceived to be an 'expert'. A review board in a typical gated community has a group that judges approves new homes and remodeling based on a set of design guidelines. The board is always talked up by the community and everyone knows who sits on it.
Customer satisfaction is enhanced by going beyond your original agreement. The service you get or offer is a highly subjective experience. Going to the grocery store and paying for your selections is pretty much and cut and dry routine. Having someone help you find what you are looking for is memorable. Having your car fixed at the local repair shop and paying the bill is one thing. Having that mechanic reattach a mud flap or piece of trim and doing it for nothing is memorable. Going to a bagel shop you frequent often and realize you are short of cash but the cashier recognizes you and fulfills the order anyway, saying to bring the extra amount next time gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling.
And that is what you wish to impart to customers you hope to serve repeatably over time.
Should you aim for 100% customer satisfaction? No, 120% customer satisfaction!
BONUS: Read the Fine Print
Going beyond expectations shows that YOU CARE. When you exhibit this throughout your dealings, the end result will always be positive. And such goodwill is a mitigating factor if a deal sours and even if you fail to meet an obligation! Our clients are always worth multiple times our net worth. Do you really think you can beat them in court on some aspect of your multi-page contract that wasn't fulfilled exactly to the terms described? We cannot be perfect. But we can indicate to our clients we are trying to do everything we can to please them. They will keep this in mind and allow you to make any amends or corrections before thinking about lawsuits!