A few years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing a fascinating business person called MJ De Marco for my 'Unfair Business Advantage Report.'
MJ told me about a clever marketing strategy he used to grow his business quickly, differentiate it from his competitors and eventually sell it a huge sum of money.
He called this strategy 'Superior Unexpected Customer Service'.
With 'Superior Unexpected Customer Service' you first figure out what your customer's expectations are when they are doing business with your company.
As MJ explained 'I don't know how it is in New Zealand but here in America it is pretty bad so it doesn't take a lot to shock or wow the customer nowadays.'
So the 'Superior Unexpected Customer Service' strategy is based on figuring out what is the expectation profile of your customer is and then violating it so they have a fabulous customer service experience.
You do this to the point where they start telling a lot of other people about their remarkable experience.
MJ found that when this happens you create an exponential growth situation as your company now has customers who become disciples of your company and they start telling other people.
If a lot of customers are telling other people about your business, it also means your marketing budget can be slashed. (And this means your profitability goes up.)
MJ owned a ground transportation website called limos.com.
So if you needed a ground transportation service to or from the airport, maybe a night on the town you would use that site to find a particular company that matched your needs.
It was started as a directory type service a long time ago but it evolved into a lead generation service for ground transportation operators.
After a couple of years in business MJ's marketing budget for finding new customers actually went to zero.
He didn't have to pay for anything because ground transport operators were telling other people 'we are getting business from this website, you should check it out.'
On the customer end, MJ made sure his business would always answer emails not within a day but usually within 30 minutes and this would totally shock the customers.
Other times a customer or even a limo client would say 'hey you know it would be great if your website did XYZ'. And within a few hours MJ would have this new website function programmed and done.
The feedback from his clients was 'Wow!' It's great when a company listens to you and actually does something.'
This 'Superior Unexpected Customer Service' is one of the key reasons that MJ's website first of all became incredibly popular with customers looking for the limo advice or guidance on where to get a limo.
The website also started to get some very good quality leads and make an excellent profit. So MJ was able to sell it for a large sum of money as well. (In fact he became a multi-millionaire when he did this.
I like MJ's strategy as any business can use it.
They just need to ask the question:
'What's normal in our type of business in terms of customer service and how can we take like a leap ahead of that so people start talking about our business to other people that they are communicating with?'
As MJ said 'it's not that difficult and what it really boils down to is, stop treating your customers like customers and start treating them like humans.'
MJ has also written one of the most interesting business books I've ever read. It's called 'The Millionaire Fastlane' and is well worth reading.
'Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they'll come back. We have to be great every time or we'll lose them.' - Kevin Stirtz
What are you going to do in your business to provide 'Superior Unexpected Customer Service' that your customers will tell a lot of other people about?