How to change your customers expectations

Just had one of those exchanges where a business owner said that his business offers the best customer service, but can’t really tell me what exactly is ‘great’ about what they do. Hmmmm…

If you advertise that your car wash ‘is a must live experience’, then I have an expectation about what to expect. That expectation wasn’t met, specifically when I asked for soap that you spray onto my car that will make my car shiny but you forgot to add it to the machine!

Anybody can advertise ‘great customer service’, you wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t service your customers, but you have to be able to say what exactly is great about your customer service in concrete terms for customers to understand and be able to pass on the message.

The Heath Brothers talk about this in their book Made to Stick and the power of using concrete language.

Here’s some memorable examples of great customer service explained in concrete terms:

  • Patriotic gift wraps products that are bought from
  • Zappos gives 365 days to return your shoes even if they’re worn out.
  • GoDaddy refunds your money with no questions asked.

See what I mean? Easy to understand, to tell and completely unexpected!

Just telling me that you’ll make it up on the next time is NOT great customer service, that’s expected. And putting a happy face on the receipt doesn’t stand for great customer service either. Maybe asking me for my phone and then calling me back a few days later to let me know you’ll have me back when I’m ready could be considered ‘great customer service’, and that would be completely unexpected!

Bottom line: Do something unexpected and be concrete about what exactly it is that makes you great!