Put up or shut up . . . Do actions speak louder than words when building your customer experience?

by Stan Phelps

in value / maintenance matrix

Forget the yada, yada, yada . . . The lowest hanging fruit is giving ‘added value’

I recently wrote about the two concepts I believe are critical when building a customer experience.  They are the concepts of value and maintenance which comprise the VM Matrix:

vm matrix

Here are main elements of both:

Value (the what and when of cx)

  • What are tangible and intangible benefits that your service or product provides?
  • Does your product or service go ‘above and beyond’ to exceed customer expectations?
  • Are you giving that little unexpected extra to ‘surprise and delight’ your customer?

Maintenance (the who and how cx)

  • What is the buying experience like for your customer?
  • Do you make things turnkey or simple for your customer?
  • Are you responsive to problems / issues for your customer?

Which element do you tackle first to make the biggest difference?

It is my opinion that it is far easier to control the value portion of the equation.  The maintenance portion requires extensive employee training, buy-in and implementation. You have far less variables when you are talking about delivering tangible added value to the customer experience.

‘Actions Speak Louder than Words’

The practice of exceeding expectations via g.l.u.e (‘giving little unexpected extras’) is based on the concept of marketing lagniappe.  Lagniappe is a creole word that means ‘the gift’.  It’s the practice of the merchant to give a little something extra at the time of purchase.

The power of marketing lagniappe is rooted in the idea of being unexpected.  It’s based on the concept of ‘surprise and delight’.  By giving the little unexpected extra you can create a WOW moment.  You disrupt the cognitive schemas of your customer by doing something out of the ordinary.  Not only is it effective in promoting loyalty, but it gets people talking, tweeting and posting about the positive customer experience.

Do you agree?  Is the what and when (giving a little extra at the time of purchase) easier to address and more impactful than the who and the how (employees increasing their level of service)?

Next post: We’ll explore the 5 main ingredients or r.u.l.e.s when creating added value.

Where is the lagniappe in your marketing? What’s Your Purple Goldfish?Download the FREE eBook here

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah April 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I am tempted to go on a Marketing Lagniappe hunt as I don’t see it as often as I would like. I look forward to the next post.


2 Stan Phelps April 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Sarah – Bring your fishing pole and net. They are tough to catch. An unfortunate rare species in the ‘sea of sameness’.

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