Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Serve + Tell = Happiness

If 80% of success is showing up (says Woody Allen), here's a corollary: 50% of business success is speaking up (says me).

Let me explain ...

I order used books from Amazon. A lot. About 4-10 a month.

I order so many books that, by the time they arrive in the mail, I can't remember when I ordered them or from what retailer.

All I know is that I expect my books to arrive in good condition, as soon as possible.

Which is a screaming opportunity for any smart bookseller who can find a way to do something memorable and de-commoditize themselves.

Like YourOnlineBookStore.com just did.

Behold the packing slip at left, which was the first thing I saw when I opened the package from them today.

Not only did they ship my book promptly, they told me so. They even told me what to think -- "Wow!"

Talk about managing expectations.

Now. Is prompt shipping an example of remarkable customer service?


Yet, here I am remarking about it.

Because, after 10+ years of ordering books from resellers on Amazon, this is the first time I can remember being told how fast my order shipped. None of the dozens of other stores I've ever purchased from ever pointed their shipping speed out so clearly.

YourOnlineBookStore.com is the first to do so. And they did it playfully. Which makes them remarkable, in my book.

What did it cost them? About $20 for a customized rubber stamp and a pad of red ink.

Question: How can you let your clients know how well you're serving them? Today?

The "not so magic" formula is this: Serve + Tell = Happiness.

And what is a happy client worth to you, in our hyper-networked world of word-of-mouth power (WOMP)?

I'll let you do that math.

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