Your business will grow like magic when you give a customer or employee something far beyond their expectations. When you give them value in excess of what they felt they deserved or paid for, you have created a Magic Experience.
The aim of a Magic Experience is to make the transaction between you and your customers memorable. Magic Experiences leave a lasting positive impression, one that makes customers want to do business with you again. And Magic Experiences also make people very happy to tell all their friends about the fun, exciting, and remarkable experience of doing business with you.
To customers, a Magic Experience shows you care for them and what they do. To benefit from this, you must make Magic Experiences an integral part of your business – part of your systems – so they happen every time for every customer, so they appear to be a special event for each customer.
Each and every day, thousands of business transactions occur. You buy a paper, coffee, a bus ticket, gas for the car, a pair of shoes, lunch, an airline ticket, a table, and … Which buying experiences do you remember? The Magic Experience and the Murderous Experience. So many of these other transactions are forgettable. Why? Because they are just the same as all the others.
Usually, the only buying experiences you remember are the bad ones – the surly waiter, the twelve phone transfers to find the right person, the dismissive “that’s – just – how – it – is” answer. These sorts are the murderous Experiences – because they murder your business. They’re a thousand times worse than a forgettable one, because people never forget, they tell their friends, and they want revenge. On average, a person who is treated well in a transaction will tell two to five people. Treat someone badly, though, and they will tell an average of ten people! But provide a Magic Experience, and customers will become your most powerful, free, walking, talking advertisements.
All businesses can find a way to produce their own Magic Experience. How you do this depends on you and the type of business you’re in. brainstorm ideas with your staff, friends, customers. Borrow ideas from other businesses that have impressed you. Be a little creative – a little different – because this is where the magic begins.
Consider these experiences:
Health and Fitness Center. This centre provides towels, baby-sitting, and fully stocked showers and dressing rooms, all free of charge. What’s more, its staff brings patrons cold, purified water while they are working out. They stop for a chat, not about exercise but about life and things they have discovered interest you. When you leave, they offer to wash your work-out clothes and have them clean and ready for you on your net visit free of charge. Would you pay a little more to work out here?
A Car Dealership. When the sale is made, the salesperson casually asks about the customer’s music preferences. When the car is delivered, not only is it shiny, new, and smelling beautiful, but there is $200 worth of your favorite type of music (CD or cassette) in the car a s a gift – with a beautiful thank you note. Will you recommend them to your friends?
A Restaurant. There’s a restaurant that gives a free drink and snacks to all patrons who are waiting for a table. Staff regularly brings out samples of its entrees and desserts, offering them to those who are waiting. Not only does this keep people happy when waiting, but it encourages the sale of items patrons rarely order.
Men’s Clothing Store. The minute you walk in you are offered a comfortable chair and a drink. Not just the usual tea or coffee any drink you like: cola, cappuccino, and freshly squeezed juice. You are greeted like long-lost friend and never ever asked, “Can I help you?” if you simply got up and left after you drink and bought nothing. It would make no difference to their attitude. But I dare you to enter that shop and leave with nothing!
A Taxicab. Imagine getting into a cab and finding it comfortably air-conditioned, spotlessly clean, and well presented. A well-spoken driver offers you a piece of fruit or chocolate and a hand or face wipe. He also offers you a choice of newspaper or magazine and the use of a mobile phone if you need to call somebody. If you don’t usually tip taxi drivers, you will this one.
Corner Store. Ever gone into a corner store hungry and arrived at the counter having eaten something while waiting in line? Imagine that when it’s your turn to pay the cashier tells you that because you were so hungry, the item you just ate is free. Would you return to this store?
How to Create a Little Magic in Your Business
To create magic, you must be different – think outside the square. The rule is: Whatever others are doing, don’t do that.
Start by saying thank-you to your customers in a meaningful way. Send them a note, a card, some flowers, or a gift basket. Call them later and tell them how mush you appreciate their business. Give them the occasional freebie. Invite them back with a gift certificate. Do small things that cost you very little but mean a lot to customer. As someone once said: “The little things don’t mean a lot – they mean everything!”
It pays off. I once referred a customer to a supplier. To say thank you, he sent me a gourmet hamper. It was quite expensive, I’ m sure, but the sort of work he does is rarely under $8,000 to $10,000. The cost of a hamper looks pretty small next to that sort of money.
Push the boundaries of what you can offer and be meticulous on the detail. Near enough is not good enough anymore. Introduce fun into you business and have fun with your customers. Go one step further. If everyone is offering their customers a cup of tea or coffee, offer them a cappuccino or a freshly squeezed orange juice. If everyone else starts doing cappuccinos and orange juices, offer a cocktail@ it doesn’t matter how – just be different.
Culled from ‘What Rich People Know & Desperately Want to Keep Secret’ by Brian Sher