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.