Small Gestures Create Differentiated Customer Experiences

At Farland Group, we hear the term “differentiated customer experience” frequently during our calls with clients. Businesses are constantly looking for ways to “wow” their customers and give them a compelling reason to revisit their store, click on their website or make a purchase.

My colleague Anne Taylor recently reflected on her experience staying at a hotel in a blog, “Going That Extra Step: Creating Differentiated Customer Experiences.” She explained how after filling out a survey, she received a note back from the property that they would address the areas she suggested needed improvement. That means two things: 1) The hotel truly cares about their customers’ perception of the property, and 2) They take extra steps to ensure customers know they care.

Like Anne, I was also “pleasantly surprised” during an outing of my own. I desperately needed the oil changed in my car, but it was a Saturday and I had my 3-year old with me. Rather than go to the car dealer, where I would be stressed out trying to contain and entertain my daughter, I decided to go to the quick 15-minute-oil-change-place down the street. I had visited long ago and decided to return because it’s quick; from start to finish they’re done in — you guessed it — 15 minutes or less.

Once there, one worker asked me information about my car and another began the oil-changing process, but then a different employee came over with a coloring book and crayons. At first I was confused, but quickly realized the coloring book wasn’t for me — it was for the little person in my backseat!

That someone took the time to notice I had a young child in the backseat and offer a coloring book — as a possible distraction instead of boredom — created a differentiated customer experience for me. Small gestures can go a long way, most certainly creating the “wow” factor that businesses are aiming for in today’s competitive environment.

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