TWO weeks ago, our twins started “big school”. “Big school” is the children’s way of saying primary school.
The excitement in the air on the first day was palpable. I am sure those of you with children who were starting “big school” can relate.
First of all, they were excited by the fact that they were wearing uniforms (which was a first). Then the thought that they are no longer “babies” also blew their minds. I must confess though that, as parents, we were equally excited.
It was indeed a big step for all of us. What impresses me though is that every day since day one, the kids have been excited to go to school.
Every morning they wake up with a bounce and just seem like they are on top of the world. Every day they seem to come back with exciting stories about what they did at school and what new things they learnt. It sure is an exciting time in our household. We hope it stays that way.
My children’s experience has made me think of the impact we make on our customers. I know I have written about customer service before, however, I feel it can never be overemphasised.
David Freemantle wrote one of my favourite books on customer service, The Buzz. Freemantle states that “when people follow routine they get into automatic mode”.
“They close down their hearts and minds with the repetitive nature of their tasks.” This too applies to customers. When the customer’s experience is the same day in day out and there is no attempt to do things a little differently or add a little excitement, they too could close their hearts and minds to your business.
I am sure no businessperson wants that. Consequently, to remain top of mind, it means experimenting with new ideas that might stimulate a customer’s interest and generate a positive experience. Customers are looking for such stimuli all the time.
Like Freemantle states, “This is why they go shopping and take vacations. They want to get away from the routine and experience something new. It is a natural motivation”.
Creating positive experiences does not require one to break the bank. It can be as small as what you say when you welcome customers.
For example, I like the way The Rainbow Group of Hotels has twisted their greeting a little. Instead of the usual “Good morning” or “Good afternoon”, they say, “A refreshing morning to you . . .” Some may find it a little cheesy, but I think it is something different and does capture a customer’s attention.
Like my children’s “big school”, let 2015 be the year when we create memorable experiences for our customers. Your task (and mine too) is to create a “buzz” and provide a creative stimulus for customers.
Nonto Masuku is a partner of an image and reputation management firm