Cafe worker giving food to customer

Give customers value they don't pay for

And watch them be delighted

Written by Dr. Shaun Ridley FAIM
2 minute read
Cafe worker giving food to customer

We’ve all heard stories of exceptional customer service, where someone has gone out of their way to delight a customer.

So many of these stories sound like once-off encounters and lucky events for the customer.

But what if you could make delighting a customer a planned event rather than a chance event?

One way to do this is to think about how you might provide some additional value for customers, that they don’t have to pay for.

Not all customers believe they should receive exceptional, top-class service on every occasion.

As customers, their service expectations for a Michelin Star restaurant are much higher than for the local café on the way to work. So one secret might simply be to meet or exceed expectations for your type of organisation.

With this in mind, the café owner might consider how they could provide value their customers don’t have to pay for. For example, they may include the customer’s favourite cupcake with their order at random intervals for free.

It might cost the owner two or three dollars occasionally, but will delight the customer and build loyalty.

The Michelin Star restaurant owner may have to be bolder in order to reach the same level of customer delight.

It could be the offer of a courtesy pick-up and drop-off at home for a regular customer on their birthday so they don’t have to worry about drink-driving.

The same principle applies to service industries, consultancies or even not-for-profit organisations.

The easiest way to think of a possible value-add is to consider what is cheap for you to give away, but expensive or otherwise valuable to the other party.

One such example is how a consultant may give a client extra time on a project for no additional charge.

The consultant may potentially pay an opportunity cost but in reality, they are not losing anything other than their time.

However, the customer is getting the extra value that would be expensive to purchase under normal circumstances.

One more small step in the next 24 hours

Bring together a small group of staff from across various levels of your organisation and ask them to brainstorm ideas for providing customers with added value – at no cost to the customer.

Once you have a list of options, evaluate their merits on the basis of the most positive impact on the customer and ease of implementation. (A good idea that can be implemented is always better than a brilliant idea that can’t be done).

Then, get to it.