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“Some airlines seem to have the attitude of, ‘We aren’t happy until you’re unhappy.'”– Jeffrey Gitomer.
Most business leaders understand the importance of having the right person with the right kind of attitude being in charge of first impressions for their business. Whether that person is answering phones or greeting customers as they walk into your business; attitude is everything when it comes to first impressions!
Those of us who travel frequently often play the “attitude lotto” every time we fly. I understand that the act of cramming 250 complete strangers into a metal tube for 3 hours at 35,000 feet is nothing short of an extraordinary event, it does not usually lead to amazing experiences for the passengers… Except for this time, aboard Wonder Woman Airlines.
While flying back from a convention in Las Vegas on a chilly February evening, I was treated to my first experience of Wonder Woman Airlines. I understand that there isn’t really a Wonder Woman Airline, but our flight attendant, Meredith, instantly converted our Delta connection flight from a mundane commute into an amazing customer experience by employing the following 3 strategies:
Wonder Woman Strategy #1- Disrupt the expected.
Meredith closed the airplane door and proceeded to pick up the intercom phone. What my fellow passengers and I expected was just another tired flight attendant’s rendition of their rehearsed monologue about seat belts, air masks, and other mandatory announcements.
Our flight attendant, Meredith grabbed the attention of an airplane full of weary travelers with her initial announcement over the PA system. “OK, you all know that part about listening to what the flight attendant says?” Meredith’s cheery voice boomed over the airplane’s speakers, “I want to make sure that you are all listening to what I have to say. She then launched into singing the children’s song, “If you’re happy and you know it… ” Evidently our hand clapping was not enthusiastic enough for her, so she informed us that our clapping was lame… but she would give us another shot! At that instant, an airplane filled with tired travelers on a cold winter night became a fired-up audience for our flight attendant. Everyone participated, then our plane seemed to become filled with laughter.
So What? Everyone employs hypnotic routines when completing their daily tasks. Sadly, most traditional marketing strategies are so boring and non-disruptive that they just blend into the noise of everyday life. Many small business consulting clients I talk to balk at the idea of disrupting their target market. They often respond with a fear-based excuse like, “What if it seems like we don’t take our work seriously?” I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy doing business with people who love what they do and are not afraid to show it. Don’t be boring, be bold… your customers will thank you.
Wonder Woman Strategy #2- Create relationships, not just transactions
Meredith explained to us that we could summon her via the airplane’s call button, but that she also answered to the names of Wonder Woman, Xena, and Supreme Commander. More laughter ensued, and our flight attendant transformed a boring commute into a show.
So What? Think of someone you recently did business with who you really enjoyed talking to. Chances are they possessed a great sense of humor, were knowledgeable about their product or service, and generally made you feel good about yourself.
Today’s customers are no longer willing to deal with someone who views them merely as a transaction. They crave a relationship with whomever they are doing business with. A solid business-customer relationship promotes the feeling that the business has their best interest on the forefront of their mind. Whether you are selling shoes, sandwiches, or Rolls Royce’s, your customers want a relationship with you!
Wonder Woman Strategy #3- Stay Connected
After our airplane landed and we were preparing to deplane, Meredith encouraged us to follow Delta on Twitter and to Like Delta Airlines on Facebook. She then sincerely thanked us for being such a great group of passengers and sent us on our way.
While my fellow passengers and I were filing off of the airplane, you could hear a constant murmur among the passengers, raving about how Meredith made our flight so memorable. I Tweeted Delta about the great experience as I was walking toward baggage claim and received a response within seconds.
So What? Today’s consumer is constantly connected to an endless supply of information. That information can be from your competitor or it can be from you. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for what you want them to do! The more threads of connection that a customer has with your business, they will be more loyal and less price-sensitive when it comes time to purchase something.
The right marketing strategy combined with the right people can create amazing results for your business. You and you alone are responsible for the feeling, experience, and general vibe that customers associate with your business. What are you doing to make it memorable?
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