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Service that Delights

First_jack “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.


Catherine Lawson

Great post. I love this kind of thing. One of my businesses is a plumbing business, and I'm wondering what we could offer free that would get people talking.

I suppose the obvious thing is replacing tap washers. I wonder if this would work and would we offer it to our existing customers or everybody?

Brilliant blog by the way. I only just found it yesterday, but I love it.

Earl Jackson

It's very true what you are saying. Even the small things make a huge difference, because doing anything stands out today.

I just got a free upgrade on one of my software packages to a new one with ten times the features. I now think much more highly of the authors on that alone.

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