Customer Experience Is The New Marketing
Delivering a great Customer experience means that Customers do the marketing for you. In an article, “Customer Experience: Marketing without Marketing,” Annette Franz Gleneicki shares how having this community of loyal fans can save your brand thousands of dollars in marketing. Your company can focus on making the product, service and experience better and not use as many resources to constantly attract new Customers. Gleneicki quotes Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, “Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable.” I love that quote!
A Revolutionary Lemonade Stand
Any business or industry can make price irrelevant, even a lemonade stand. What do most children do when they sell lemonade? They make a sign, get a table, make some lemonade, and set up shop on their lawn. One summer when my son Cal was 9, he, along with his friends, created a unique lemonade stand. First, they set up their stand at the end of the street (under parental supervision), where every car had to brake for the stop sign. Cal’s sign said, “Super Size Lemonade & Iced Tea to Go.” He set things up so that people did not have to make a special stop to buy; they didn’t even have to get out of the car. As each car braked for the stop sign, he gestured to the driver and showed him a 16-ounce cup of lemonade or ice tea with a lid on it. Most people rolled down the window, pulled up to the curb, and bought the lemonade to go.
Next Cal took the lemonade stand mobile. In the mid-afternoon he and his friends went to a new-home construction site in our neighborhood and offered lemonade and iced tea to the dozens of construction workers. Nearly everyone bought something. The twist was that Cal and his friends charged a $1 a cup, not the traditional 25 cents. For that dollar, he gave Customers a large cup with a lid and delivered it right to them. He and his friends sold more than 300 drinks in about five hours. This example drives home the point that, “The better the service, the less price becomes an issue.” My biggest obstacle was that he wanted to sell lemonade fulltime and not return to school.
“If You See Something, Say Something” Campaign
This is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism-related crime. I think we can borrow and tweak this saying to fit Customer service and raise employee awareness of how they should act when they come within 10 feet of anyone: Customers, a team member, or stranger. It’s called, Beat The Greet. “If you see someone, say something.” Employees need to be aggressively friendly, acknowledge people from afar, smile, nod, say “hello,” even if you are not coming in direct contact. (see Three ways your employees engage your Customers)