The Best Way to Impress Your Customers | Human-Centered Change and Innovation

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

We have the privilege and honor of working with some amazing clients. One of them asked us to work with her team on a customer experience initiative that included every company employee. One of the regular assignments for employees there is to share examples of how they created a Moment of Magic® for a customer or colleague. They do short write-ups and share them with their managers. Here is a great example of the power of this exercise.

The client is a travel company and had a VIP client that had worked with them for more than 20 years. His agent, Katie, referred to as a relationship manager, made a hotel reservation for a trip to Europe to work on a very important court case.

Katie decided to surprise him with a unique gift that she knew would have more impact than a bottle of champagne or a bottle of wine, which is the typical room gift her agency sent her VIP clients. Instead, she arranged for a pair of boxing gloves to be placed in his hotel room when he arrived with a note saying, “Knock them out!”

The client wrote Katie a thank-you note:

I had a busy day, as you would expect, but this is the most thoughtful and creative present I have ever received. And after a long day, I can’t stop laughing. They (the gloves) are going in a glass box and will be kept in my house with your card, so I can look at it every time I have a fight on my hands. Katie, you have no idea how this made me feel. Thank you!

Wow! The client referred to this as “the most thoughtful and creative present” he had ever received!

There are several lessons here:

1. Surprise Appreciation – It’s nice to surprise a customer with a gift for the right reason. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it needs to show you care. It just has to be unexpected, appreciated and memorable.

2. Make it Unique – It’s customary for travel agencies to send clients a surprise welcome gift in their hotel room. It’s usually a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine or something the hotel can provide. This gift was unique and, at the same time, very appropriate. It’s doubtful that Katie will send a pair of boxing gloves to a client again – unless there is a perfect reason to do so.

3. The Note Is Important – Katie’s note was just three words, but they were the right three words. It proves Katie was listening to her customer. That’s why her title is “relationship manager.”

Gifts don’t have to be extravagant to impress. They have to be appropriate and meaningful. If you want to learn more about how to properly gift your customers, read this article about my friend John Ruhlin and his book Giftology.

Image Credits: Pexels, Shep Hyken

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