Give your customers a cookie

Give your customers a cookie.

I love it when companies do little things unexpectedly to give their customers a better experience. Earlier this week I met a friend at Penn Station for lunch. It is a sub shop/franchise with locations throughout the east coast and midwest. I had only been there once before and the visit hadn’t left an impression. This time was a different story.

The food was good. The experience was great. Out of nowhere, as everyone was eating their sandwiches talking about WikiLeaks, Lebron, and holiday shopping, the workers started passing out fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. The nice young lady came up to our booth with a basketful of cookies in hand, offered us one, and asked how our meal was. She treated us like she knew us. Almost as if we were real people. It was great. Great experience, mission accomplished.

We should all give our clients a cookie. These are the little things that leave a lasting memory in the minds of customers.

Think about how you can do this in your business. You do it through servitude and exceeding what your clients expect you to do. You do it through adding high touch to high-tech. The great thing is it usually doesn’t cost that much. What costs more is not doing it and falling into average. When you are average you compete with price.

Give your customers a cookie and you build loyalty. Loyalty is when customers choose you for reasons other than price. Loyalty based on the fact you are cheaper isn’t real loyalty. Loyalty is about commitment and a sense of belonging to a group or tribe.

As you move into 2011, start baking cookies into your brand. What ideas do you have to build loyalty through better experience and value?

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