Many of the things that will get your clients talking positively about you require little effort and cost almost nothing to provide.

A friend of mine recently shared with me some research done by John Goodman. Not the John Goodman from “Roseanne”, this John Goodman is the Vice Chairman of TARP Worldwide. For those of you not familiar with TARP, they are considered one of the world’s premier organizations specializing in the customer experience. 

The research looked at the cost effectiveness of trying to “delight” customers. They were quick to point out that while there is certainly nothing wrong with trying to “delight” customers, some methods are definitely more costly and time consuming than others.

Their research found that efforts to “exceed the customer’s expectations” and “delight” the customer will lead to a 12-14% increase in the likelihood of your customer recommending you to someone else.

Not bad. However, they shared four relatively simple actions that result in twice the likelihood of a recommendation.

  1. Creating a personal connection by interacting briefly with your customer about something other than the basic transaction will increase the recommendation likelihood by 26%.
  2. By telling a customer about a new product or service that fills a genuine need, an increase of 30%.
  3. By providing consistently good service, 30%.
  4. By proactively educating the customer about how to avoid problems or get more out of a product or service, 32%.

To summarize their findings:

  • Be personally/genuinely interested in the whole person, not just the part of them that makes them your client.
  • Deliver at a consistent, high level – we all want to know what to expect.
  • Be aware of your client needs (not just those related to your typical transaction) – even if you can’t fix it yourself, just by introducing them to someone who can will earn you client goodwill.
  • Proactively communicate/educate – don’t make them ask you for help.

There’s nothing expensive about these suggestions from either a time or dollar perspective. I don’t know about you, but I would be delighted with anyone who did this for me!


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Photo by fizkes