What are five things you can do for your customers that are critical for them to be delighted but that are not essential?
Let’s have a look at what I call the Critical Non-essentials Matrix (CNE).
Below are five random and surprising examples of what you can do to delight your clients. The key is the surprise element.
If it’s not surprising it will become an essential and lose its impact. If your client expects something it won’t wow them nearly as much.
- Give them a hand-written thank you card thanking them for their custom and achievement.
- Buy them movie tickets. And don’t be cheap – get gold- class tickets.
- Give them a free product or service upgrade or a voucher for a related business.
- Take them out for a coffee, or lunch or dinner.
- Send them a gift on their birthday (not a voucher for your business – this is not an opportunity to get another sale, it’s an opportunity to wow your customer).
Now let’s have a look at how each of these fits into the Critical Non-essentials Matrix.
Look at the diagram below and you’ll see that we have ‘cost’ going from low to high on the vertical axis and ‘level of difficulty’ going from easy to hard on the horizontal axis.
What you have to do now is fit each of these five bonuses for your customers into the matrix according to cost and degree of difficulty. You can see I’ve done it for the five examples.
This matrix allows you to decide how you will use these five activities in your business. Thank you cards are of course cheap and easy. Movie tickets and a gift will probably cost a bit more but are also easy. A meal with a client takes a bit more effort, as does an upgrade.
Your low cost and easy ideas must be done often. There’s no excuse not to do them. The more expensive and difficult things are done when appropriate, but they must still be done.
Don’t think of these as a cost, think of them as an investment in the long-term success of your business. And once you have this system and culture in place, don’t think that you need to stop at five – keep going! Keep coming up with new and inventive ways to delight your current and future customers.
Let’s have a look at how it works. As an exercise, let’s say you own and manage a gym. Your system for delighting your customers might go something like this:
- When they sign up with you, you send a hand-written thank you note and a free extra month on their membership.
- You send them a voucher for a sports store on their birthday (you know the date because it’s on the membership form).
- After they’ve been with you for one year you send them a couple of gold class movie tickets to congratulate them on their commitment to their health and fitness.
- On their birthday in their second year of membership you give them a free membership upgrade.
- At the completion of their second year of membership you invite them and a friend into the gym for a free personal training session with you.
How does that sound? Would you ever lose a customer? Not likely. Would they talk about your gym at a dinner party on Friday night, and tell all their friends they should sign up? You bet they would.
It is essential to have systems in place in your business to manage your customer interactions.
We refer to this as client fulfilment. It’s also essential to have a staff member accountable for this who will ensure you have customers coming back time and time again. If you don’t have somebody in place to lead and manage this process it will only happen when people get around to it, and that’s not good enough.
Caring about your clients is non-negotiable.
Do whatever it takes to wow them and show them that you care. Play the game as if you are a global leader and eventually you will be. Your customers will always expect you to get better over time, so don’t let them down. Whatever you did last year, do more this year. Do it bigger and better. Delight them.
Now do this for your business!
Prepare a list of at least five critical non-essentials for your business that you think will be appropriate for your customers.
It’s also a good idea to work out a timeframe over which these events occur, so as part of your plan you need to work out what actions you are going to take over a period of – for example – six months. Then, draw yourself a diagram like the one above, and insert each of these items in the appropriate place.
Most importantly, now implement these Critical Non-Essentials into your business systems. Make sure someone is responsible to lead and manage these tasks, and make them non-negotiable!
Power to you!
Stefan Kazakis on 5 May 2018
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