In today’s podcast interview, multiple best-selling author, Chip Bell, discusses his new book, Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles, and the importance of going beyond good customer service to — not great service, but unique value service.
In other words, you don’t have to do heroics to create an experience that is memorable enough that people want to tell others about it. And that, says Bell, is what you are aiming for in order to maximize profits and satisfy customers.
Unique Value vs Added Value
I still remember the first time I was greeted with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies when I checked in to a hotel. (I also remember which hotel it was: the Adara Hotel in Whistler). At that time, it was what Bell calls “value unique.”
Since then the idea has been copied by others, so it is more of a “value added,” which is still nice, but not as likely to get people talking about your organization.
The other problem with “value added” as opposed to “value unique,” says Bell, is that value added keeps raising the customer experience bar. Once others start doing it, it becomes expected, like the animal shaped folded towels in high-end resorts.
Then it is no longer memorable (though its absence might be), and the financial burden of continual value adds can kill your profitability.
Creating Unique Value Without Breaking the Bank
Unique value can come from the smallest of things, but helps people remember the experience.
A simple, no-cost example: When I bought my new car, the saleswoman (who actually listened to what we wanted, unlike the salesmen we’d dealt with elsewhere) had made up an acronym to help me remember my new license plate number. (It starts with BHT, so she called it Beautiful, Happy Tema.) That was five years ago, and I still remember it and who made up the acronym!
Brainstorm some ideas with your staff about little touches you could add that would deliver unique value. Quirky is good. Encourage craziness… you can always scale back later.
The key here is to involve your front-line staff in generating the ideas. As the ones who interact the most with your customers, they are most likely to know what little touches would be appreciated and stand out.
Mentioned in This Episode
Matt Dixon, and his wonderful book, The Effortless Experience. (I’m hoping to get him on the show in the next little while. He’ll be the headliner at the upcoming CXPA Insight Exchange. You should come!
Question: What’s the most memorable, unique touch you’ve ever experienced?
Please scroll down and comment below.