“It’s a great day at Jack in the Box!”
Hard to imagine someone saying that, isn’t it? Especially, at 6:00 in the A.M. But, my wife, Frances, calling from her cell phone, assured me those were the words that came over the speaker when she pulled in to the drive-through to order a large diet Coke on her way out of town.
“Then,” Frances continued, “when I drove up to the window, the woman handed me the drink and said, ‘No charge. It’s my treat.’”
“Truly, it must be a great day at Jack in the Box,” I replied.
“It’s going to be a great day all day long,” Frances said.
“Because you got a free drink?”
“Well, yeah!” As if I could miss something so obvious. Now you need to understand something: With Frances, it isn’t a matter of whether or not the glass is “half-full or half-empty.” It’s more like, “if the glass is half anything, a free refill is surely on the way.” “Optimist” is not a strong enough word. She believes the universe is always conspiring to help her, and interestingly, it seems to be doing just that. I mean, I never got a free drink at Jack in the Box. Hmmm….
Anyway, my point - you know there’s one in here somewhere – is that a successful outcome for a customer experience is when it causes people to talk about it. There are entire blogs devoted to the importance and impact of word-of-mouth. And for the cost of a cold drink, an employee at Jack in the Box transformed an ordinary drive-through experience into "service that delights." And Frances told others about it. And now I’m telling you.
Adding the delight factor to your customer service doesn't have to be expensive. Lots of businesses have vending machines available for the “convenience of our customers.” But, a refrigerator filled with complimentary soft drinks and bottled waters for their customers – that’s convenient. Some tire companies offer free flat repair if you buy your tires from them. But, a tire company that offers to fix your flat free no matter where you bought your tire – that’s going the extra mile*. A bakery advertises, “daily newspapers for sale.” Yawn. Now if they gave those papers away to their customers – that would create more buzz than the donuts and coffee.
How about a jeweler who replaces your watch battery for free?
Can you think of some others?
*Discount Tire will repair a flat tire for free regardless of where you bought your tires.