Customer Experience News & Trends

3 ideas that will wow your customers in 2016

Customers want to be wowed. The best part: Once they are, it generates loyalty.

Here’s how three companies have surprised and wowed customers in the past year — and how you can turn their unique ideas into outstanding customer experiences this year:

1. They never saw it coming

MaterCard wanted to move away from its long-standing idea of helping customers celebrate priceless moments and to a new position of helping customers create priceless experiences.

Sure, the financial services company built marketing and advertising around that theme. But they also delivered some surprising customer experiences through its “Priceless Surprises” program. In some cases, they sent customers digital downloads of songs. In another, much bigger case, they arranged for Justin Timberlake to visit a customer’s home, according to MasterCard CMO Raja Rajamannar. Similarly, they created an opportunity for some super Usher fans to meet the singer.

They’ve also helped customers make travel plans and greater contributions to causes.

Tip for you: MasterCard was able to set up extraordinary meetings for customers because of the listening its employees did on social media. Those employees interacted with customers and asked them about their interest in certain singers. When they spotted super fans through social media, they knew who to surprise. Monitor what your customers love on social media for ideas on unique ways to surprise and delight them.

2. Make everyone an owner

Ace Hardware employees know a lot about the business — the good, the bad and the better. Leaders regularly update them on what’s happening behind the scenes and answer questions until they’re sure front-line employees understand everything.

Why do they care about those details that much? They want employees to act like they own the place. If they think like owners, they’ll give amazing customer service, according to the company.

Ace employees make decisions on the spot to keep customers satisfied. Because they’re deeply knowledgeable about how the company or store is performing, they know the best route for everyone involved when helping customers.

Tip for you: Spend more time covering the numbers in employee training. Help employees understand the costs behind your products, services and processes. When employees understand that, they can make educated decisions on how to satisfy and wow customers.

3. Do just a little more

Just a little more effort goes a long way. Take this as proof. It’s from Bob Simmonds, VP of domestic travel operations at Disney Destinations, who first gives a shout out to the United States Postal Service: Envelopes that come through the mail that have nothing more than a child-like crayon-inspired depiction of Mickey Mouse on them are delivered to Disney.

The postal service doesn’t have to deliver them (or respond to Santa letters, for that matter), but it consistently does it. For Disney’s part, when there’s a return address available with a letter, a response is sent back from Mickey.

Tip for you: Follow up. One of the biggest reasons the relationships between customers and businesses take off is because someone follows up. For some things — say, a big complaint, a major problem or first-time purchase — customers expect a follow-up. For others — say, routine sales or small complaints — they don’t expect much. But they’d be impressed if someone called to make sure they received the shipment alright or if the quick fix worked for the long-term.

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