Amaze! Astound! What???
In the past week I read two articles on customer service/experience. One said that to be competitive you have to amaze your customers. The other declared that if you don’t astound your customers, you’re toast.
Yesterday I led a Becoming A Category Of One: The Leadership Workshop as a keynote for a convention in Canada. I had the participants list the three businesses to whom they feel the most loyalty. Some of the companies named were Westjet, TD Bank, Tim Horton’s, Co-Operators Insurance – all fine companies who happen to be market leaders.
I then asked them if any of their chosen favorite companies amazed or astounded them. The 250 participants looked at me, as my buddy Dale Irvin would say, “like a dog looks at a ceiling fan.” They were, in a word, puzzled by my use of such hyped-up terms. The consensus feeling was that no, they weren’t astounded by their airline, bank, coffee shop, or insurance company.
What they were was satisfied to the point of enthusiastic loyalty. They gave examples of their favorite companies delivering quality performance and products with consistency and excellence, and sometimes going above and beyond to make them happy.
But astounded??? Good grief.
Hyperbole is everywhere in business discussions. But hype doesn’t win and keep customers. In fact, over-promising with delusions of customer ecstasy in today’s marketplace will backfire on you. Today’s customer is too savvy to fall for that crap.
Doing your job better than your competition, creating rock solid value, always improving and innovating, being the best at what matters most and making your customers happier than anyone else does is what wins and keeps customers.
Hype doesn’t win the market, at least not for long. Value always does.