A five star hotel in Bali once had a very unique guest who had specific food allergies. But when he reached the hotel, he realised that his specialised milk and eggs which he brought along were spoilt. The manager and staff looked all around town for those ingredients but not having found them, the manager called his mother in law in Singapore and had them picked up and delivered to their kitchen!!! And it’s not a solitary show of excellent customer service. This chain of hotels, the Ritz Carlton, is famous for such exemplary customer service. Needless to say, their customers aren’t going anywhere else.
If you’ve ever eaten at Pizza Hut, you have must have seen a huge bell hanging at the exit. If you ring the bell while leaving, you will hear a loud Thank You from the staff members. It’s a simple practice but it gives the consumer a chance to express themselves and acknowledge that they had a good time. Even within the kitchen, you will hear shouts of ‘Well done’ among the chefs to goad each other for a job well done. Can you imagine the positive energy in such a workplace?
Pizza Hut gathered a fan following, and not to mention, some hard core patrons who will associate the ringing of the bell with some of their happiest times. Now can you think of any other Pizza chain that does this?
In a market filled with brands, products, competition, local as well as international, have you taken the effort to make yourself stand above the crowd? In both the above examples, the unique customer experience was what determined the die-hard loyalty of the customer.
Say you have a product which similar to that of your competitors…it is that extra effort you will take to make the experience special, that will turn a casual customer into a fan and a lifelong patron.
A very small example is of a cabbie from Mumbai who has fixed everything, from a small TV to a multi-pin battery charger to a first aid kit and a free newspaper too, to make his cab ride comfortable. Anyone travelling in that cab is never going to forget that. It’s not mandatory to fix all those things in his cab. No one else does. But it’s what sets him apart from other cabbies so much so that people note his number and call whenever they need a cab. It’s the unique customer experience that made a difference to this cabbie’s business.
While you aim for perfecting your product or service, you should also aim to delve deep into the psyche of your consumer and give him an enriching and memorable experience. Conducting timely audits of your retail spaces, mystery shopping exercises Going out of the way for your customer and doing something which he or she does not expect, will certainly leave a positive and everlasting imprint on your customer’s mind.