A Maverick (VJ) Says, Maven (Jade) Says Edition
Maverick Says: Customer service has been around since the lemonade stand, but many business innovators are elevating the definition to all-out rockstar levels. We approve!
From DSES Keynote Speaker Gary Vaynerchuk’s “thank you economy” to Bob Burg’s and John David Mann’s“The Go Giver,” today’s hot and up-to-date thought leaders are reexamining customer service and thinking “outside the ballpoint pen” on how to really rock their customer’s world. The cool thing about this trend is that it is completely accessible to the automotive digital marketing community. Anyone can take an innovative approach to treating customers like royalty and give them a unique Red Carpet Event (and no, I am not referring to Ford and Lincoln’s Red Carpet Lease event). Let’s get you on the A-List and provide you with a peek behind the velvet rope to see how it’s done.
Cultivate Your Big Players with Bananas Customer Service
For example, Vaynerchuk shared a rockstar customer service story during his keynote speech at DSES. The customer in question was a true “VIP,” having just placed a $1000 wine order from Vaynerchuk’s business WineLibrary.com. The savvy entrepreneur realized that such an elaborate purchase deserved more than the standard old thank you note with a 15% off coupon and a branded pen. (We all know such canned displays of “gratitude” hardly make a dent into today’s relationship-driven business economy.) Instead, Vaynerchuk went above and beyond, doing his homework to find out more about what could turn this casual customer into a die-hard fan. His tool of execution: Twitter!
Vaynerchuk learned that the customer was a die-hard Chicago Bears fan, posting rave after rave about his beloved Bears and rants after rants for his so hated Packers. From these “traces of evidence” Vaynerchuk saw what made this new valued customer of his “tick.” He realized “This guy just loves his Bears, possibly more than his family.” Vee’s plan of action was clear. He sent “Mr. $1000” an autographed Bears Jersey – of his all-time favorite player Jay Cutler.
Now before you choke on your coffee at the thought of spending close to $300 on a fancy sports jersey for a single customer, keep in mind that the story doesn’t there: The perplexed and dazzled customer called Vaynerchuk up, dying to know how the wine CEO could have possibly known that the autographed Bears jersey was the perfect gift. The customer then went on to say how over the past few years he had ordered over $100,000 worth of wine from one of Vaynerchuk’s competitors and had not once received the rockstar treatment that Vaynerchuk had so generously shown. He is now (and trust me I am right on this) a customer – or let me call him “a converted Vaynerchuk Evangelist” for life. And YES, the jersey cost around $300 – but the marketing message and impact among the clients social circle of influence is considered “priceless.” Rock on.
Maven Says: I agree with VJ that delivering rockstar experiences to your inner posse is totally hot right now, but I think it spans beyond just customers to your entire entourage. Just as rockstars have fans, journalists, and music critics to satisfy, we in the digital automotive industry have our own “posterazzi”: bloggers, journalists, thought leaders, and customers.
For example, I noticed many Digital Dealer 2011 speakers touching not just on the concept of rewarding top purchasers, but also top social influencers. The reasons why are obvious: when it comes to today’s rock stars, the Klout score has replaced the sports car, your number of Twitter followers matters more than the number of zeroes on your balance sheet, and Radian 6 has replaced Bungalow 8 as the hip name to drop. Schmoozing takes place in retweets, not restaurants, and industry power has taken on a whole new digital gleam. Moreover, the public is catching on. I’ve heard of several forward-thinking companies (some hotel chains in particular) who are now strategically checking their customer’s Klout Scores when they check in. They then reward this customer with white glove VIP service. This practice is known as “Klout Comping” and I expect it to absolutely explode over the next year or so. Bottoms up, power users!