Marketing has become trickier than ever and the same may be said for customer service. Why? I think the connectedness of the world has changed consumers expectations while widening the possibilities of brands and people to go beyond expectations when it comes to communications. A SlideShare presentation by Gary Vaynerchuk got me thinking about this topic and much of the data shared in it makes so much sense.
Consider that three out of four consumers choose a vendor based on free shipping alone (slide 47). I can relate to this stat as I have been pleasantly surprised numerous times when dealing with Amazon or Zappos and finding out at check out that my order qualifies for free shipping. I always pay attention to how much shipping will be so imagine the feeling when I find out it is going to be free!
I guess it all boils down to expectations and how brands can exceed those of their clients and potential clients. This also can be considered in everyday communications as well. Think in terms of connectivity. Follow this scenario – you are a high level manager in a decent size company and you get promoted to a position in the C-Suite.
You now start to get congratulatory emails and messages on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Many of those messages are from folks you may have never met and will be working within the team you have just been promoted to lead. I bet very few would expect a personalized reply and when you actually do send one, imagine their surprise! If I was the one receiving this type of reply I would look at that as a ‘free shipping’ moment and your personal brand just exceeded what I expected. Why doesn’t this happen more often?
As a brand I guess we just have to identify our ‘free shipping’. What does that mean in your industry? How should this affect the way you communicate professionally and personally? As a consumer, what unexpected and reasonable action would delight you beyond your predetermined expectations?