Manager, Desktop Product Marketing
Xerox Indirect Channels Business Group

Make your customers smile.

A smile is a universal facial expression of happiness. There is evidence to suggest smiling is physiological as opposed to a learned behavior. Advanced scanning of babies in the womb show facial expressions – including  – before birth. Furthermore, you can’t easily fake a smile. (See for yourself).

Contrary to past practices, a business’ task is no longer to sell to a customer once. It’s all about getting the customer to come back.

You want your customer to come back by buying more of what they first purchased from you or buying something else from you. After all, it’s easy to get a customer to try your product or service once – just give it away. To get them back, you need to make them smile. You need the experience of finding you and buying your product or service to be better than any other choice out there. You need to  “Start with the customer experience in mind”, according to John Jantsch.

AND you want your customer to come back figuratively. In other words, you want the experience of the transaction with you to be good enough your customers will tell their friends, family, fans and followers about you. You need to make the entire transaction re-markable as Seth Godin puts it. After all, in Thomas Friedman’s Flat World it is becoming easier and easier for transactions to happen on a global scale. So the difference is not about the ability to purchase any longer. The difference is more about the experience during and after the buying process.

So, how do you make a customer smile?

Your product or service must accomplish exactly what you claim. No exceptions. Beyond that, try giving an unexpected surprise, like  topping off your coffee right when the meal is served. Or maybe politely saying ‘thank you’ (and meaning it) for placing the order. Or just smile yourself. Show your customer you are happy serving them. It is sometimes the best (and cheapest) way to get your customers to smile back.