Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

[CUSTOMER SERVICE] Small gestures create great brand stories shared by customers

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I really dislike travel late at night, which is why I usually try to fly during the day or early morning and then get to where I am at a reasonable hour. I need my beauty sleep. LOL. But sometimes there’s just no way around flying into somewhere late and that was the case when I arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport in October 2016. Wheels down around 11 p.m. and I still had a bit to go to the hotel.

The last thing I want is to have to deal with no rental car, an incorrect hotel reservation or really anything that is keeping me any longer from sleeping. So, I always appreciate when everything goes according to plan. As soon as we had landed at Dulles, I received my text from Hertz, the car rental company I usual use, to let me know what stall my car was in. (To get the service you have to sign up for free Gold service. This allows you to get these texts and to be able to skip lines.) They also offer the option to upgrade via text. Since one upgrade was free, I did that. “All set. We’ll send you an updated carfirmation (which is what they call the text).

rental car gesturesWhen I got to the stall, the car’s trunk was open. Like somebody was saying: “We’ve been expecting you. Throw your luggage in here and you are set to go.”

It was even more impressive since I had changed cars from the plane just moments earlier. Nonetheless, it was a slightly delightful moment and appreciated.

As we are moving forward in automating as many processes as possible, which is fine, we also need to remember to keep the human touch – or at least the perception of it. That’s what delights customers. I have no idea if a Hertz employee manually opened that trunk (which I assume) or if it’s some kind of computer script or something. “Customer changes car via text, open trunk.” I assume it was a human action, but even if it wasn’t it felt like one.

Some things to keep in mind as we are continuing to look for ways to delight our customers:

  • Be nice. Always.
  • Do what’s unexpected – as long as that benefits the customer.
  • Be super helpful.
  • Never hide behind rules. Find a way to help. Sometimes we have to call for help.
  • Surprise them.

Delighting customers in some of those ways can be hard, though, because sometimes to positively surprise somebody we have to “break process” and you know process is the most important thing to some people. It’s actually understandable to a degree, because breaking some processes can actually have the opposite effect on customers. Think about a sandwich shop and an employee who is not making a sandwich according to the process. I wouldn’t want that. Probably. I want the sandwich to my expectation or better. So if it’s a better sandwich because they broke process, sure, I’m fine with that, but there’s some danger for that employees. It could end up being a lost worst.

Recommended reading:

As long as there’s rush hour we are still in the Industrial Age 

We will take your sandwich order however you’ll want to give it

But when done well, brand storytelling can happen at its finest. Customers will share your stories with their networks – online and offline. You can reshare those and respond to them. This is the reason why something like this is worth sharing on an authentic storytelling content marketing blog. For us to share authentic stories, they first have to happen and be experienced. They are most powerful when shared by others. Be sure to create them for your customers.



Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Christoph Trappe.

I’ve written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs.

If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I’m always happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!

– Christoph
ctrappe@christophtrappe.com
319-389-9853

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