As a business owner, you want to make your customers feel good. The first temptation (and also the easiest one to implement) is to offer discounts to your customers. Offering discounts is a double-edged sword. It’s a delicate balance to come to a win-win solution with discounting.
So, without worrying about discounts as a model to delight customers, let's move on and explore what else can we do to make our customers feel good. Here are three things to consider:
1. Create Memorable Experiences: Customers crave for memorable experiences and since most of what they see on a daily basis is mediocre, if you create a memorable experience, they will talk endlessly about it. Disneyland is built on the premise of delighting customers and creating memorable experiences for them. Whatever your age, you can be guaranteed to have a good time there. The employees are trained to do one thing - delight customers. Of course many of you would have heard of Ferran Adria and Juli Soler's creation - El Bulli, arguably the world's most famous restaurant. They serve only 8,000 people per season. The number of requests they get: 2 million. It seems like winning a lottery if you get picked. The secret sauce: The Experience. It's once in a lifetime.
2. Extreme Customer Service: Everyone wants to feel like a king (or a queen) and when they pay they expect that you treat them like one. If you have shopped at Zappos or know someone who has shopped at Zappos, one thing that comes across very clearly is that they CARE for their customers. What also is cool but doesn't get mentioned much is that the way they reduce the resistance from "browse to buy." If you are woman shopping for shoes and are not able to decide which of the five pairs you want to buy, you don't have to worry - you can order all five pairs and return four pairs - paid in full both ways. It's so cool that everyone talks about it and in the process market Zappos without being paid.
Nordstrom is known for its "no-hassle" refund policy without limits on how long ago you purchased the item or in what condition you are returning it. The idea is not just to duplicate (that would be good too) what Zappos and Nordstrom are doing but find your own angle of “blow their socks off” customer service to delight your customers.
3. Business Model Interwoven with a Cause: What's the similarity between TOMS Shoes and Sir Richards Condoms? Nothing when it comes to what they are selling. A lot when it comes to how they are selling what they are selling. Both of them have woven a bigger cause into their business model. Blake Mycoskie's mission at TOMS shoes is simple - you buy one pair of shoes and the company will donate one more pair to a child in a third world country.
Mathew Gerson, founder of Sir Richards Condoms, had learned about the global shortage of condoms and right then he read "Mountains by Mountains" by Tracy Kidder. The book was a biography of Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health. Putting the two together, Gerson founded Sir Richard's Condoms. For every Sir Richards Condom bought, they donate one condom to a country in need.
What cause can you support that is woven into your business model?
If the above have sparked some ideas of your own, please share them here in the comments section. If every business thrives to make their customers feel good, the world will be a better place.