I shopped with my ‘now favorite’ online shopping website a while ago. The experience was superlative. I got a massive discount on the product I wanted to buy, my order was delivered in 24 hours and at the preferred time I had indicated. Not only that, I was also given a complementary voucher which I could redeem on my next purchase.

The website e-mailed me a customer feedback form, and in my delighted state I gave them a glowing review which I was happy to let them share on their website.

So what worked for me? Great service and delivery. The website on the other hand got a happy customer and capitalized on my experience to get a positive testimonial.

This experience set me thinking. Often, companies lose the advantage of getting a glowing customer review just because they react too late.

Act on happiness

You just delivered a great product or service and the customer is thrilled. She just sent you an e-mail which lets you know how great your offering is, and how much it has helped her organization. You thank her profusely and share the e-mail with the rest of the team.

This is also an opportune moment to ask the customer if she is willing to give you a customer quote or engage with you on a case study. It is always best to tap the customer at the peak of their happiness. Often companies don’t exploit the good experience until it is too late. You might continue delivering a great offering, but the customer might not be so forthcoming with feedback every time. So don’t let the moment pass.

Give the right incentive

A restaurant I frequent gave me a ‘joyous’ surprise. Their food and service has always been superlative. Last time I visited them, they asked me if they could make a contribution to my favorite charity in place of the customary 15% meal discount. Needless to say, I was thrilled. They followed through on their promise, and made a contribution to a charity I am committed to.

Now, I have always been a satisfied customer, but this ensured I was happy to be a testimonial customer for them. What won me over was the effort they made to know what I liked. They were also creative in acknowledging my patronage in a meaningful way.

It’s always the small things. Customers are happy to share feedback but doing that extra bit to make it worthwhile makes a good experience an absolutely great one.

Catch the buzz

Cloud, big data, digital, 4G — the industry buzzwords keep changing and your offering has to resonate with the latest buzzwords. At any given time, the market is interested in a particular offering so ride the wave. Mine your customer database to see which ones are in the ‘buzz’ space. Engage with customers in that space and find out if they are willing to talk about the value you have added.

If your offering is compelling and your customers see the benefit, they would be happy help you gain more visibility and win the market perception battle. It just needs to be timed and pitched right.