In his book “The Starbucks Experience” author Joseph A. Michelli talks about the power of the unexpected. It really hit me, because it’s so blatantly obvious when you think about it.
As a business owner, making good on your promises is a good place to start. But, if you really want to set yourself apart, venture into the realm of the unexpected.
Popcorn, peanuts and molasses are not what made “Cracker Jack” a household name. It was the surprise!
You see, nobody tells their friends about getting ordinary service. Because IT’S BORING! You tell your friends about the stuff that blindsides you. The crazier it was the more people are gonna hear about it. Those are the items that make up conversation.
Any brand conscious company wants word-of-mouth advertising because as consumers we are completely inundated with bogus, outrageous advertising claims. We need not look further than the junk mail we throw away every day. That’s why a trusted friend’s recommendation is more effective than a hundred TV ads.
So, what’s the secret to a successful “word-of-mouth campaign” (if there even is such a thing)? It’s not rocket science, you purposely and consistently do things that are both unexpected and positive.
The more outrageous, the better! You may have heard the story of the customer who successfully returned a car tire to Nordstroms, or they guy who took a hacksaw to his new Craftsman crescent wrench in the parking lot at Sears only to walk back in and exchange it for a brand new one without a word of complaint.
See, these stories were so extraordinary that I’m sitting here writing about them years after they happened.
Surprise your customers and you’ll give them something to talk about.