The cost of differentiation is a cup of coffee

You want people to evangelize your product or service, right? You’d love to see your brand splashed all over social media and the blogosphere, maybe even wsj.com, correct? Differentiation can be created and your story shared for as little as the cost of a cup of coffee.

You Move Me, the brainchild of 1-800-GOT-JUNK founder Brian Scudamore, puts themselves in the shoes of their customers. They know your coffee maker is packed the morning of your move so guess what, they bring you coffee! The day before the move a You Move Me representative calls to confirm the arrival time of the moving crew and confirms how you take your coffee. So smart, so simple, so inexpensive.

Sweet and Tidy, a home cleaning service, differentiate themselves by whipping up a fresh batch of muffins or cookies while they are cleaning your house. You arrive home to a delicious scent, a tasty treat and a clean home. It takes very little to execute for Sweet and Tidy and the differentiator becomes a story people want to share (the lowest cost form of marketing).

I never thought I would be writing about great customer service from Rogers, a Canadian cable and Internet service provider, but never say never. Recently, during my move, Rogers did wow me by providing me with a moving concierge. I was provided a single point of contact who checked in with me four days before my move, the day after my move and one week after my move. Rogers recognizes that once they have you safely moved from one location to another you are unlikely to change providers, so they overspend on service at the most critical moment in the customer journey.

People remember people and experiences, not products or invoices. In the end, it’s sometimes the little things that stay with people. They may cost you a little, but they will make you a lot.

Great customer service is ultimately marketing and marketing is about the human experience. Sometimes it’s about connecting on an emotional level and sometimes it’s thinking about something the customer has not yet thought about, but it is always about connecting at an emotional level.


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