The SCARY Side of Today’s Connected Customers

Your doorbell rings in the early evening on October 31st…and, impatiently rings and rings and rings. At your front door is a young child dressed in a man’s business suit and holding open a cloth moneybag filled with one-dollar bills. You quickly realize this must be an enterprising trick-or-treater who exchanged the idea of candy for the folding kind of treat. You smile and oblige the child with a dollar.  

You ask, “Who are you?” wanting to understand the child’s unorthodox costume.

The child answers, “I am a customer!”

“And next year if your Jack-o-lanterns aren’t bigger and your decorations a lot shinier, I will tell all my friends to egg your house!”  

You suddenly get the true real meaning of Trick.

Customers today can be scary. Armed with the muscular reach of social media, they can use a negative tweet, scathing review or a snarky YouTube video to digitally “egg” your business. With expectations constantly rising, if you do not perpetually spruce up your “decorations” and the size of your “jack-o-lanterns,” you are asking for a commercial whoopin’. 

The scary side is not that the customers at your door just want new offerings, better quality stuff or even lower prices. They want a shiny experience. Good service is only the ticket to maintenance and retention, not to customer advocacy and bottom line growth.

Consider this: Over 114 million people watched Katy Perry sing “Roar” on that giant moving glass lion during the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show. And, the show then added her jetting around the arena with a fireworks show in the background. Over 150 million people have been awed by a Cirque Du Soleil performance. These are the customers at your front door. And, they look at the uniqueness and splendor of your experience decoration through those same Super Bowl-Cirque eyes.

What can you do to bring a bit of Lady Gaga whimsy, Cracker Jack surprise or kaleidoscope color to your customers’ experiences? Your customers are judging you, not by the fashion in which you meet their needs, but by the way you make them feel.

A strong emotional connection is now a requirement, not an extra. Make your customers grin, swoon or giggle and they will come back to your front door again with more loyal intentions.


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Chip R. Bell is a renowned keynote speaker and the author of several national best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Managers as Mentors, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service, and Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service. His newest book is: Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.. Global Gurus ranked him both in 2014 and 2015 as the #1 keynote speaking in the world on customer service. His has appeared live on CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, ABC, Bloomberg TV, NPR and his work has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, Money Magazine, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CEO Magazine, Fast Company and Businessweek. He can be reached at www.chipbell.com.

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