The Amazement Revolution is about indoctrinating yourself and your team in the phenomenon known as amazement.
The book is built on own observations, based on over twenty-five years of research and working with clients, about the seven core strategies that an organization of any size can use to instill and reinforce the desire to do the right thing by both customers and employees. And yes, those two groups are linked. The first are your external customers; the second are your internal customers. External customers, of course, are the people who pay money for your products, services, or solutions; internal customers are the people who work for your organization.
To keep external customers happy, you must make sure your employees know that you care about doing what’s right by them, day after day after day. Your employees will in turn care about doing what’s right by the customer.
AMAZEMENT STRATEGY #1—PROVIDE MEMBERSHP
Launch your very first interaction with the customer with personal recognition and then add value, as the Four Seasons chain of hotels does.
Give customers a special “membership track” to join so they can get even more value from the organization, as REI does.
Indoctrinate first-time customers with a great first-time experience, as Famous Dave’s does.
Help your customers send a message to the rest of the world about their values, standards, experience, status, or ethics, as the Better Business Bureau does.
Give customers a sense of belonging, as Northern Lights Credit Union does.
Make access to resources, people, experience, ideas, and tools a benefit of doing business with you, as the Entrepreneur’s Organization does.
Call your customers something besides “customers,” as Sports Clubs does.
Key point: Treating your customers like members doesn’t mean you have to call them members. It’s about creating value, similar to what some might call a “member benefit.” Creating that sense of membership is a powerful strategy to deliver amazing service and establish customer loyalty
AMAZEMENT STRATEGY #2—HAVE SERIOUS FUN
Engage your employees in the same way you want them to engage your customers, as Baptist Health South Florida does.
Use regularly scheduled all-team meetings to energize everyone, connect with everyone, and reinforce your organization’s service vision, as Alston & Bird does.
Consider giving your most creative people the opportunity to spend at least part of their time on self-directed projects that will also create value for the customer, as Google does.
Listen to what your employees are saying about work/life balance, as Slalom Consulting does.
Send employees thank-you notes to celebrate examples of superior service, as Thomas Interior Systems does.
Win intense loyalty from your customers by first earning intense loyalty from your employees, as SAS does.
Have fun and find lots of reasons to celebrate, as the Scooter
Key point: Your employees come first—because they are the key to generating your customers! If employees are not operating within the cult of amazement, they won’t amaze your customers. On the other hand, if your employees are themselves amazed, they will make it their business to amaze your customers.
AMAZEMENT STRATEGY #3—CULTIVATE PARTNERSHIP
Make the customer’s problem your problem, as Contegix does.
Look for ways to connect with your customer on a personal level, as the manager at the Ace Hardware store did when he helped an elderly customer trim her Christmas tree.
Use your organization’s personality to deliver a consistent, predicable experience of above-average service, as Lenny’s does. The key is to make experience predictable, which is what creates confidence.
Look for opportunities to give a little more than the customer expects, as Ibrahim does. A minor investment in going the extra mile can have a major impact on customer loyalty.
Be on time, every time, without exception, as Quick Transportation does. This strategy is about doing what you say you will do—every time.
Use knowledge and your own network of expert advisors to create credibility and confidence (essential ingredients in a partnership relationship), as Jeff Silverstone at Wells Fargo Advisors does.
Align the team on your organization’s brand promise, as FedEx does. That means your employees understand it better then your customers do. Your employees must live it, breathe it, and deliver it.
Key point: If the customer relies upon you and only you, has confidence in you, and expects that any problems that arise will be resolved successfully, you have entered the realm of partnership.
AMAZEMENT STRATEGY #4—HIRE RIGHT
Audition for attitude first, as the Fudgery does.
Turn your company’s most passionate evangelists into salespeople, as New Chapter has.
Ask job applicants to define customer service, as Nordstrom does.
Create and support an internal employee referral program, as Trader Joe’s does.
Turn your best customers into your best employees, as the Container Store does.
Incorporate an observation period into your interview process, as Hy-Vee does.
Consider applying the after-experience principle to your recruitment and hiring campaign by giving new hires some type of gift, as SnagAJob.com does.
AMAZEMENT STRATEGY #5—CREATE A MEMORABLE AFTER-EXPERIENCE
Send a truly personal and thoughtful gift, as Premiere Speakers Bureau does.
Send a personal thank-you note, as Missouri Baptist Medical Center does.
Use a customer’s important personal dates (such as a birthday or anniversary) to create an after-experience, as Ranoush does.
Make thoughtful, well-chosen, and unexpected contact during slow times or in the off-season, as TruGreen does.
Incorporate an effective promotion into an after-experience, as California Pizza Kitchen does.
Schedule a post-purchase meeting that delivers a value-added benefit, as Townsend Oil does.
Use follow-up calls to let your customers know they’re appreciated and find out how you’re doing, as Weiss Brentwood Volvo does.
Key point: Create after-experiences that are unexpected, appreciated, and memorable.
AMAZEMENT STRATEGY #6—BUILD COMMUNITY
Enlist your most engaged customers to supply you with good ideas, as Harley-Davidson does.
Use your brand to make an ethical statement about something that is genuinely important to you, your organization, and at least a portion of your customers, as Lush does.
Build your brand promise around a single cause that defines your target market, as Pedro’s Planet does.
Simplify your product or service line to focus only on what your community of evangelists wants and has always loved, as In-N-Out Burger does.
Give your customers a value-added discussion forum where they can gather to share views with and socialize with others who use what you sell, as Amazon does.
Harness the power of independent user groups, as Apple does.
Create an even stronger relationship with your best customers by inspiring them to partner with you in your charitable efforts, as Virgin Unite does.
Key point: Listen to your best customers, support them, and respect them!
AMAZEMENT STRATEGY #7—WALK THE WALK
Identify core commitment values, as Zappos does.
“Stoop to excellence” and model the behavior for your employees, as the Walt Disney Company does.
Prove to your employees that you are willing to go the extra mile for them, as Stew Leonard’s does.
Deliver tough news in person, as NetApp does.
Hire top people whose personalities complement the organization’s mission and set the tone for its interactions with customers, as Costco has. Ideally, all employees would present a personality that supports and complements the company mission, but top executives are a good group to start with.
Share a company story that supports both your values and your organization’s promise to customers, as L.L.Bean does.
Treat your fellow employees the way you want the customer treated, maybe even better, as Southwest Airlines does.
Key point: Walking the walk means acting in support of your organization’s best values all the time, no matter what.