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Make your customers smile

I’m not sure if you can see my face when I’m writing this, but sometimes I think that you can. But, in case you can’t, I’m smiling. I’m having a wonderful time at the office, and right now I want to share why I’m smiling.

halden river

I really enjoy stories that makes me smile. StorytellingΒ is an important part of marketing. And if you combine it with emotions, authenticity, and building strong relationships, you’re definitively doing something right.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how important it is to make your customers smile. I’m not talking about telling them a joke, and make them laugh. That’s not it. A smile is different. We smile because we feel good about something. And if we feel good about something, we tell people about it. We love to share stories that makes us feel good.

I have two stories to share with you today. The first one is based on my experience four days ago.

My iPhone is dead

I woke up, did what I usually do, and I grabbed my iPhone as I was about to walk to the office. The only problem was that I couldn’t get it to work. The screen was all black, and nothing happened when I pushed the various buttons. I turned it off and on again, and I heard the sound of it being on, and the same happened when I tried to charge it. I heard the sound that it was charging, but the screen was still all black.

I decided to visit the store where I had bought it. The man inside the store looked at me, and then he looked at my phone, and told me that he had to send it to Apple and that most likely I’d get a brand new phone in a week or two. This wasn’t good news at all. I’d love a new iPhone, but I can’t manage to do business as a solo entrepreneur for 2 weeks without a mobile phone. But, before I had even figured out what I was going to do, the man behind the counter had given me a different phone that I could borrow. It wasn’t a smartphone, but I didn’t have to manage my business without a phone. That’s great customer service. And that’s why I’ll be buying more from this store. They didn’t have to give me a phone. And I didn’t expect them to give me a phone.

That’s the thing. He made me smile.

Another Pizza story

The second experience happened yesterday. I was going to visit a friend and we were going to watch a movie (21 jump street) and eat pizza. I had everything planned. I ordered the pizza, and drove to the restaurant and as soon as I parked the car I discovered that I had forgotten my wallet. At first I was a little embarrassed. I was thinking about if I should drive back home to get it or not. But, I looked at the time, and there was no time left at all. I had to walk into the restaurant and tell them that I didn’t have any money.

I said to myself that people are nice. I said it four times before I entered the restaurant. I had no idea how they would react. And I felt that I was still embarrassed. I just wanted to walk away. And leave all this behind me.

Then I discovered his smile.

The manager told me that I didn’t have to worry at all. I didn’t even have to come back later that day. He told me to come back and pay whenever I had the time.

That’s the thing. He made me smile.

What have you done to make your customers smile?

When someone makes you smile, you’ll want to continue your relationship with that person. You’ll want to come back, you’ll want to talk and you’ll want to share your thoughts and recommendations.

Making people smile is one of the most important parts of your business.



33 responses to “Make your customers smile”

  1. What a great story – and a great way to kick off the weekend!

    It’s such a great reminder of how little it really takes to make someone’s day.

    Thanks for 2 great stories that put a smile on my face!

    Have a great weekend!

    ~Christine

    • I thought it was two perfect stories on a rainy Friday πŸ™‚

      Too many companies don’t understand the power of customer service and that customer service is one of the most important part of marketing. If you do customer service right, you can save a lot of money on ads πŸ™‚

      • Joseph Hipolito says:

        Yeah I agree for what yous said sir jens, with that story I remember something in my pass and that’s all about rain…

  2. joseph12 says:

    it is an informative article.Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Adrienne says:

    Now that’s what I call great customer service Jens. I would be shouting from the rooftops too if I got that kind of service.

    That’s like my story of the lady at Walmart. I tell myself every single day to “always believe that something wonderful is about to happen”. I went to Walmart and I always chat with the cashiers. That day was no different but she gave me a discount on some chicken breasts just because she wanted to. I thought she didn’t have to do that but it definitely made me smile.

    I love stories which is why I enjoy coming to your blog. You always have something fun to share with us.

    Thanks Jens and have a great weekend.

    ~Adrienne

    • That’s an awesome story Adrienne. I wish more people would understand the power of making customers smile and feel good. You don’t need to do much, sometimes just a compliment about your hair or your clothes is enough… and a surprise discount is even better – that would make me smile for days πŸ™‚

      Have a wonderful weekend Adrienne.

  4. Josh says:

    Hi Jens,

    Those two companies are smart. It doesn’t take much effort to make people smile, feel special and valued. When companies do that they build long lasting relationships that are of exceptional value.

    • Hi Josh,

      Exactly. I’m still smiling, especially about the pizza. I didn’t expect to get the pizza and not being able to pay for it. But, on the other hand, they probably know that I eat a lot of pizza and that I’m going to come back again and again for more pizza if they make me smile πŸ™‚

  5. Lisa says:

    I’ve had the same thing w/smart phone too from Verizon. I could not be without mine and they let me power one and gave me a super charger. But the restaurant, wow, I can’t image that one happening around here. Kudos to them and you should brag about that one πŸ™‚ I was able to make a few customers smile with overnight shipping – they just needed something asap and was not within their driving distance. Hope to make more smile soon. Thanks for sharing Jens. Love your picture, is that your view?

    • Hi Lisa,

      The picture is the view from the bridge downtown. We have a river that runs through the city. It’s very nice πŸ™‚

      I was very surprised by the restaurant as well, and now, I’ll probably order most of my pizzas at that place. To me, customer service is more important than the taste of the pizza (or the price of the pizza).

      It’s awesome what you did with your customers. I bet you’re going to make a lot of people smile πŸ™‚

      Have a great weekend Lisa.

  6. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens, Wow, those are great stories. You’re right, you can get by with your iPad and a regular cell phone, at least, until you get your replacement phone. That was great he gave you a loaner in the meantime.

    The pizza story is great too. What a wonderful way of getting a loyal customer.

    One time we were visiting Switzerland and staying in a rented apartment. We arrived in the evening and went across the street to a grocery store to stock up on food and supplies. The store was about to close when we went to the register and we found out that they didn’t take credit cards. We didn’t have any Swiss francs yet so we were disappointed that we would have to put all of the groceries back. They told us to take the groceries and pay us the next day after we got the money. It was amazing because we were not even from their country and we weren’t going to be long-term customers.

    We were sure to shop in that store a lot during our stay though!

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Wow, your story was even better than mine πŸ™‚

      That’s the thing, we never know who our customers really are until we make them smile, and we don’t know what will happen if we make them smile – all we know is that good things happen, that’s for sure.

      Have a wonderful weekend Carolyn.

  7. Nawaz says:

    These are not stories but are the marketing tactics that make the customer to smile and also do advertising by telling these stories to other person. They are promoting their business because of their patience and humble conversation that is backbone of any business.

    • It should be the backbone of any business, but unfortunately there are many people who doesn’t understand that this is what it should be like. So, when we experience things like this, it become something extra and we feel really good about it, and we end up buying more and telling a lot of people about it πŸ™‚

  8. Mark says:

    If you can make your customers smile, you’ll have customers for life…

    Love it, Jens!

  9. Tim Bonner says:

    Making someone smile is very powerful Jens.

    Sometimes the smallest of things can make the most difference to people.

    Great stories Jens!

    • That’s right Tim, I still feel how powerful a smile is, and when I think of the people in the store and the restaurant, I feel good and I am looking forward to the next time I’m going back πŸ™‚

  10. Bill Dorman says:

    Lovely, so you had to mooch the movie tickets too, huh?

    It might not have made a difference, but you expected a good outcome and you got it. Sometimes your expectations set the tone and I’ll bet you walked into the store with a smile too.

    If you smile, others will smile with you and that’s a fact.

    • That’s interesting Bill. I didn’t think of that, but you’re right. If I had been in a hurry, and sort of angry, I would never have had the same outcome. Like you said, if we smile, we’ll experience great things πŸ™‚

  11. Such a great post. IT MADE ME SMILE! I always tell my clients: It’s so EASY to make your customers smile, just think big, broad and long term – it will come back to you in buckets. I I totally agree: Too many companies don’t understand the POWER of customer service. REALLY – If you do customer service right, you can save a lot of money on ads!!!

  12. Hi Jens,

    these are great stories, thanks for sharing them.

    I think you pointed out the most important ingredient of customer satisfaction: Do the the unexpected, do what you’re not required to do officially.

    Best,

    Oliver

  13. Customer experience is perhaps why Apple is still so big πŸ˜‰

    Even if your products plainly suck, you can still get a lot of loyal customers, right?

    It’s great that businesses are realizing the importance of keeping that smile, providing that experience (I only wish that the whole human species were nice to themselves, as we used to be).

    Great stories, Jens πŸ™‚ Loved how you related all this to marketing πŸ˜€

  14. Ralph says:

    Great post Jens.

    I don’t think I have even gotten a free pizza (kidding)….
    My wife has an insatiable positive attitude and she seems to get places a lot of other people only wish they could. Positivity is not as abundant for me but I am learning fast. Simply smiling in your mind goes a long way. It lifts your spirit doncha think?

    Those were some smart plays that those companies made for you. Such small gestures go a long way huh? Hey, you should pop over to Adam Toporek’s site. He wrote a great post about smiling and where that can take you. Let me know what you think…..http://customersthatstick.com/blog/customer-service-training/smiling-on-the-phone-does-it-really-work/

  15. Adam says:

    Excellent examples Jens. I think that the first step in making customers smile is having a smile on our faces when we are communicating with them. Whether we are smiling on the phone or smiling face to face, the messages that are conveyed nonverbally are tremendously important! Of course, the smile has to be backed up with great service like you received; it is not enough by itself.

  16. Chloe B says:

    Going the extra mile is always appreciated by your clients and customers, and is a good business habit to get into. It’s all too easy to get a reputation by being half-@rsed or even moody/rude. Remember, the customer is always right. And it is the easiest way to win reciprocal business, by providing service over and above what a customer would normally expect.

  17. Vijay Reddy says:

    Hello Jens,

    Making customers smile is always a cherishing experience. Most of the companies who realized this fact spend a lot of resources on achieving this. It is worth doing and brings a smile even to the business giants.

    Regards,
    Vijay

  18. richa says:

    Hey Jens
    Thanks for sharing these two stories. Yes, excellent customer service is indeed the most important thing for every business. There is no reason why you would not continue to be a loyal customer of both these service providers. This fact is very important for every company to realize.

  19. aayna says:

    Hi Jens,
    Making the customer smile is indeed the greatest way to make a place for your product in the hearts of the customer. Storytelling is indeed one of the refined technique to captivate the customers. The two stories you have shared in this post are great instances of the application of marketing tactics in a superior manner. Without making the customer smile, the marketer can never sell his product on a long term basis.

    • I absolutely agree with you. Sometimes a smile is enough to make me smile, other times it takes a lot more effort to make me happy. But, we should all hustle to make our customers smile πŸ™‚

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