Customer experience is the ultimate differentiator. Great, humanity-driven service and added value (“the upsell”) will turn customers into advocates, bolster loyalty and reduce the costs of trying to convince new customers to try you out. No one understands that better than Stan Phelps.
Stan’s been a great resource of information through the #custserv Twitterverse for a good while now and I’ve even had the pleasure of engaging with him a few times. He’s definitely a thought leader, trying to define customer experiences for brands. That’s where The Purple Goldfish Project came from, and fueled the book, “What’s Your Goldfish? How to Win Customers and Influence Word of Mouth.”
I just finished reading it and wanted to share a few reasons you should check it out:
1) Intro to Lagniappe – if you’re not familiar with the term “lagniappe” (pronounced ‘Lan-Yap’), Stan does a great job embracing the hell out of it while getting the reader to say, “damn, there’s a word for that?” What it means, well according to Wikipedia, it’s a “small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase.” The focus of this book is to support the Bain & Company’s research findings that it’s 6-7 times cheaper to keep customers than pursue new ones, so why not put that extra effort in to WOWing them. Those customers will be the best marketing you can imagine.
2) Giving little unexpected extras (G.L.U.E.) – First, love the acronym. Stan isn’t suggesting grand gestures here, just that small bit of effort that will help a business be memorable. Whether it’s remembering a guest was concerned about waking up and calling them to remind them, or writing a handwritten apology note for a frequent customer that time things didn’t go smoothly. Classy, thoughtful, sweet…and probably a great benefit to your business goals.
3) Purple Goldfish Ingredients: R.U.L.E.S. (relevant, unexpected, limited, expression, sticky) – If you want to know about the “purple goldfish”, you’ll have to check out Stan’s website. Ok, here’s a hint: it’s about your company’s ability to stand out in the market it finds itself in. He says it better. In order to get to where you want your business to be, you’ll have to follow the “RULES” of customer service. Be relevant to your customer, surprise them with the unexpected, that little extra should be special and limited, it should be an expression of caring to your customers and it should be sticky aka memorable and brag-able.
4) Case Studies – the book is littered with examples of best practices. What ever the business you find yourself in, there should be something in here that you can take away and apply to your customer relationship building. If not, you’ll be inspired to try.
5.5) It’s Just so Doable – you can do this. This isn’t hard or out of the box thinking. This is an organization understanding that the best way to do business is to care for your customers as people and treat them like they matter (because they really, really do). It takes very little extra effort to inspire loyalty and love for your company. It’s so important I had to give it an extra half number.
If you get a chance, check out Stan’s book. Just to bring it home, here’s a pretty great quote:
Any customer service books you’d recommend?