Please and Thank You might not earn you a complaint – but it won’t have customers storing an emotional memory that you’re service was exceptional either.
Growing up in Wilmington, Delaware we had a lilac bush in our garden on Monticello Road. I imagine that’s why the site and smell of a blooming Lilac bush while training in Dubuque, Iowa this month compelled me tell my client to “stop the car and pull over”.
Okay, so as I dove my nose into the lilac bush, and my clients did wonder, for just a minute, if their consultant had way too much tropical sun in Costa Rica and was really an expert in motivation? I explained that we don’t have four seasons in Costa Rica and that Lilacs were not only a rarity but a multi-sensory trigger to the warmth of my childhood home.
Then I beefed up my credibility briefly lost in the bushes, by explaining Eric Horvitz’s academic research on Memory Markers. Horvitz and his team are using their research on how and what we remember to improve technology. Memory Markers —can be stimulated by powerful emotion, positive or negative–(John F. Kennedy, yes, Lilacs) and often are anchored by a strong emotional word picture, that the brain stores in digital pictures—Memorable links to our past.
So imagine my delight the next morning upon entering my training room, seeing this incredible bouquet of Lilacs at the podium, a gift to me from my client! Now, that’s what I call a Kodak Moment or what MasterCard would label “Priceless”.
Unfortunately Customer Service today is all too often less than memorable. News Bulletin: Please and Thank You might not earn you a complaint but it also won’t have customers storing an emotional memory that you’re service was exceptional either.
Here are a few tips for creating Memory Markers that are well “Priceless”
Make it Sensory
I’ll be delivering a keynote presentation to over 300 dentists in June. Move over Free Toothbrush and make room for the Dental Spa! Music and Aromatherapy, Soothing eye masks, paraffin treatments, eyeglass movies. Easy to see why customer’s don’t have to be reminded about regular checkups!
Talk about “Word of Mouth”. Scan your environment and your service. How can you improve the total environment and experience for customers?
Look at every detail of your service interactions from the critical entry point—the first seven seconds of contact, that often guides the customer’s overall impression of your service and check the details all the way to your exit strategy—how you leave customers on a positive/energized note, not talking about the problem you just fixed.
Make it Personal and Fun
My very favorite boutique hotel chain is the Kimpton. As an animal lover who misses her pets, I can request Goldfish from the staff to keep me company in my hotel room; I can notate in advance via my on-line profile my pillow choice and floor preference.
Do you have technology or a system in place to capture your customer’s preferences? What fun and personal touches tell us you’re different from your competitor? Remember if you compare yourself to your competitor, you’re not memorable, you’re standard.
Leave them a Memento of your Brand!
Leave clients with a small memento of your service. Do you have a welcome package for new customers? A visual reminder of your brand that says thank you and provides some value to the client. Customers just love Free Stuff–maybe a memory marker from our own childhood, when we got the toy surprise inside the Cracker Jack.
PS: Think beyond the Free Coffee Mug! You’ll be on the shelf with a hundred others. Rather, Create Visual Memories of your brand that speak to your unique message.
As the Author of Go Wild, Survival Skills for Business and Life, I carry an arsenal of Safari Bracelets, Frogs, Hats, etc….to thank my participants at the end of the day and leave a small memento linked to the learning principles I teach.
It’s a Visual Postcard and reminder of our Go Wild journey. So think about your Toy Surprise inside the box — Will it help us remember our journey? Remember your brand? Remember you?
About the Author
Rosemary Rein is a Professional Speaker and International Management Consultant. She is the Author of “Go Wild: Survival Skills for Business and Life” published by Career Track Seminars, and is the founder of Costa Rica Learning Adventure.