give value

It doesn't take much to create a great customer experience

Last week I was in Toronto for meetings and I got into a cab and the very first thing I noticed was that there was a console in the middle of the back seat and it had packs of gum, candies, bottles of water and a few other things I didn’t explore.  My impression? “Aw, that’s nice!” 

Creating a great customer experience

The first thing the driver told me after I told him where I was going was that I could help myself to anything there, it was for me.  I immediately started thinking about how it really is the little things that can make all the difference in a great customer experience.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot

The cost of what was sitting in the console next to me was, tops, $10.  I helped myself to one candy, which probably cost 5 cents. Just the fact that I COULD take anything I wanted made me feel like I was having a great experience.  So I told him so and we had a great chat the rest of the way to the airport.

He pointed out the extra features he had in his cab.  There were nice, new, and crisp magazines in the pouches of the seats in front of me that I could read if I wanted, there were pillows on the back window that I could use if I wanted to get more comfortable (he said they were used a lot to prop up arms, especially on longer drives to the airport) and he told me about an arrangement he had at a hotel where he could pick up bags on behalf of customers.  He also told me about the car wash membership he paid for quarterly, never giving himself an excuse not to keep his cab in tip top shape.

We went on to talk about how the majority of his work comes from people calling him to pick them up and how many people tell him they prefer to get rides from him because it’s such a nice experience.  When the price of a cab ride can’t be changed because a meter is in charge, he stands out by creating a great experience; an experience that doesn’t cost him much at all but I BET gets him lots more in tips than his competitors.

It works offline and online

While this story is all about something that happened in person and not online, the lesson carries over to all spaces when you’re a business owner.  When you create friendly customer experiences, when you make people feel good, when you go above and beyond what you HAVE to do, you build relationships with people.  When you build relationships with people, those people will come back to you, even if it’s a bit more inconvenient or costs a bit more.

The cab driver gave me his card and told me if I ever needed to be picked up at the airport to just text him before I got on my flight in Ottawa. His card is safely tucked in my wallet now because I have a feeling I will do just that.


Have you had any great customer service experiences that were low cost but had big impact? Are there any little things that you do that do this? Leave a comment and tell us what they are!

Are you irritating your audience into unliking or unfollowing you?

Social media is about building relationships with people and nobody likes to be in a relationship with someone who is pushy or who irritates them. But what irritates people online? How do we avoid frustrating our audience?

We asked our networks what irritates them from brands online and what pushes them to unfollow or unlike a page and we got a lot of great answers.

Here are some highlights, grouped by theme.

Don’t be too pushy

This was definitely the thing that came up the most. People don’t like to feel like you’re constantly trying to sell to them. Avoid being too repetitive, using catch phrases too much or just posting too much content (2-3 times a day is a good number to start with. Experiment and watch your insights to see what works best with your audience though, it could be more.)

Here are reasons people gave for unfollowing a page:

“Posting too often”

“Repetition, especially of tag lines or catch phrases.”

“Posting too often, or posting the same thing several times a day, or linkbombing a feed.”

“Posting 100 times a day, one after the other. Just unfollowed a page for that.”

“Posting mainly for the purpose of selling (one post after another … buy this, buy this, buy this) without sharing any useful content … same with newsletters.”

“Post only about themselves/services.”

“Too much pleading for liking, sharing, help us win this contest, etc. I’ll happily share good content without anyone asking; begging tells me your content is not that good. Also posting a whole bunch of times in a row on a regular basis. “

Social media needs to be a two-way conversation

When you have a presence online, people expect you to be there to have conversations.  If you post information but never answer questions or respond or acknowledge those that engage with you, people will get irritated and leave.

Reasons people gave for unliking a page for lack of engagement:

“When they don’t reply to questions on their own posts. Example: Joe’s Diner, “Come on in for great lunch specials today!” Me, “What are your specials today?” No reply. Unlike.”

“A page that doesn’t post/engage regularly.”

Your attitude matters

The way you interact with your audience is extremely important.  Make sure that you are aware that the tone you use is important and that what you are saying stays in line with what your audience expects of you.

People definitely don’t like it when brands get too political or religious:

“Overly critical, negative or bullying tones. Strong religious or political views that don’t illustrate willingness to be open to other views. Offensive, overly sexual content. “

“Anything with too aggressive or strong political or religious views one way or another or anything very negative.”

So what DO I say?

Be useful and give value to your customers. 

Remember it’s about them, not about you.

Be present and authentic.

Never stop checking in with your audience, either with questions or through analytics, to see if what you’re doing is working.

What makes you unfollow or unlike a brand? And what makes you stay? Leave a comment and let us know!