The Designer and Uber Driver Experience: The Power of Exceptional Customer Experience

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Personal Branding Podcast

The Designer and Uber Driver Experience: The Power of Exceptional Customer Experience

Today we’re diving headfirst into the power of exceptional customer experience.  I will share with you why prioritizing your clients, especially in the realm of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), is the secret weapon you’ve been overlooking.

“Often times consumers, clients, and customers are not just buying a product or service, they are buying an experience, a feeling, a perception, a person(YOU)” – Bernard Kelvin Clive

Let’s face it, customer service in some parts of the world can be, well, let’s just say lacking. And for many SMEs, the focus often lands on simply getting the job done. But what if I told you that by shifting your mindset and truly prioritizing the customer experience, you could unlock exponential growth for your business? Intrigued? Then buckle up, because we’re about to explore real-world examples and practical strategies to make exceptional service your competitive edge.

Here’s the first Story

Two Designers and the Power of Going the Extra Mile

Let me illustrate this concept with a recent experience I had. A few weeks back, I needed some new signage created for one of my clients. Knowing the importance of a visually appealing and functional design, I contacted two graphic designers specializing in sign-making and posters. Both were familiar faces, having worked with me on previous projects.

To ensure a well-informed decision, I briefed them on the project’s specifics and requested they visit the location to assess the space and gather inspiration. Both designers readily agreed and promptly scheduled site visits. Up to this point, everything seemed on par. However, the story takes a fascinating turn when we look at their follow-up approaches.

The first designer, let’s call him David, returned with a straightforward email containing an invoice outlining the estimated cost for the project. It was a clear and concise message, but it lacked something crucial—a spark of initiative. David had completed the bare minimum; he’d assessed the space, formulated a price, and presented it without further engagement.

Now, don’t get me wrong, a clear estimate is important. But in this competitive landscape, it just wasn’t enough to stand out.

The Art of Exceeding Expectations

The second designer, Sarah, took a distinctly different approach. Following her site visit, Sarah not only sent a detailed quote, but she also went above and beyond by creating three unique design samples for the signage. These weren’t just generic mockups; each sample showcased a distinct visual style and layout, catering to different aesthetic preferences. This thoughtful gesture demonstrated not just her design skills, but also her understanding of the importance of client input and collaboration.

The impact was undeniable. When I presented both options to my client, their reaction was clear: Sarah’s effort to personalize the experience by providing design choices instilled a sense of confidence and partnership. They felt valued and understood, not simply handed a price tag. In contrast, David’s impersonal approach, while competent, failed to capture their imagination or create an emotional connection with the project.

How Going the Extra Mile Benefits Everyone

Now, Sarah’s proactive approach wasn’t just about winning this specific project. It’s about understanding the ripple effect exceptional service can create. Think about it this way:

  • Happy clients become indirect brand ambassadors. When you exceed expectations, clients are more likely to sing your praises to their networks. Positive word-of-mouth marketing is an invaluable tool, attracting new clients organically and increasing your brand visibility.
  • Building trust and loyalty increases repeat business. Satisfied clients are more likely to return for future projects, knowing they can rely on your commitment to quality and personalized service. This promotes a sense of loyalty and strengthens your client relationships.
  • Strong partnerships lead to unexpected opportunities. When you are determined to offer exceptional service, you open doors to potential collaborations or referrals. A client impressed by your work ethic might connect you with someone else in their network who needs similar services.

The Value Proposition of Exceptional Service

Some might argue that exceptional service comes at a cost, but hey what doesn’t cost? Yes, and that might be true in terms of time and effort. However, the intangible value it creates far outweighs the initial investment. Here’s why:

  • Exceptional service justifies (and even elevates) your pricing. When you go the extra mile, you’re not just offering a product or service; you’re delivering a premium experience. Clients are more willing to invest in businesses that prioritize their needs and demonstrate genuine care.
  • It builds long-term value over transactional relationships. A focus on exceptional service promotes a sense of partnership with your clients. You’re not just completing a job; you will be nurturing a business relationship with your clients.

Here is the Second Story

A month or two ago, I needed to take my kids somewhere via Uber. The first driver arrived, and as I was helping my children into the car, he launched into a series of complaints. He questioned whether I was alone (despite clearly seeing my kids) and expressed frustration about the potential trip duration.

Now, I understand drivers have quotas to meet and time constraints to consider. However, his tone and approach were completely off-putting. I reassured him I understood the fare structure and would pay based on the meter, regardless of any delays caused by settling my kids comfortably. Despite my attempts to de-escalate the situation, his negativity continued. Chale, I was getting furious but had to let this slide calmly. Ultimately, I decided to end the trip and find another driver. Not only did his behavior affect my experience, but it also meant he lost out on a potential fare and wasted time driving to my location.

How Positive Interactions Create Lasting Impressions

Fortunately, my wait for the next Uber was short. The second driver’s approach couldn’t have been more different. He greeted us warmly, offered assistance with getting the kids settled, and reassured me not to worry about taking time. His calm and accommodating demeanor instantly transformed the atmosphere. It was clear that he understood his role as a service provider, prioritizing my comfort and satisfaction. This positive interaction not only made the trip more enjoyable for myself and my children, but it also prompted me to leave him an additional tip in recognition of his exceptional service.

Every Lead Matters: Building Relationships for Future Opportunities

These contrasting experiences highlight an important point for all business owners, personal brands, especially those in the SME space: every lead matters. It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of immediate sales, but neglecting the potential value of every interaction can be a costly mistake. The client who doesn’t buy today might become a loyal customer tomorrow, or they might recommend your services to someone else in their network.

Building Trust and Rapport: The Seeds of Long-Term Success

The key lies in building trust and rapport with each interaction. Treat every lead with respect, offer them your time and assistance, and genuinely demonstrate your commitment to their needs. Even if they don’t make a purchase right away, these positive experiences keep your brand top-of-mind. When they or someone they know eventually needs your services, your exceptional service will have left a lasting impression, making them more likely to choose you or recommend you to others.

Customer Experience Beyond Price and Product

The truth is that, in today’s competitive landscape, exceptional service is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. While price and product quality are important factors, customers increasingly base their decisions on the overall experience they have with a brand. Remember, people remember how you make them feel. When you make exceptional service your priority and build genuine relationships with every lead. You will not only be making sales, you will be laying the foundation for long-term success and brand loyalty.

Here are some Key Takeaways

  • The power of exceeding client expectations: Going the extra mile can significantly improve your chances of winning business and create a positive long-term impact.
  • The domino effect of exceptional service: Happy clients become brand advocates, fostering repeat business and opening doors to new opportunities.
  • The value proposition beyond just price: Exceptional service creates an intangible value that justifies potentially higher prices and builds client loyalty.

So, I encourage you to reflect on your current customer service practices. Are you treating every lead with the respect and attention they deserve? How can you infuse exceptional service into your daily interactions?

It’s your turn to treat your customers and clients right. Branding beyond visuals!

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