Delivering Happiness: Why Your Field Service Business Will Fail if You Don't

I recently saw Gary Vaynerchuk speak at a conference. I took two things away from his presentation:

1. He must have been a sailor in a past life. He dropped more f-bombs in his hourlong presentation than a typical 1 hour episode of Deadwood. (For those of you wondering, Deadwood averaged 87 f-bombs per episode in its two-year run.)

2. Your business won't succeed unless you care about your customers. Like really care about your customers. 

How Zappos Delivers Happiness.

My wife loves shoes. Sometimes, I think she loves shoes more than me. So she really, really loves shoes. The funny thing about shoes is that they are a commodity. You can go into virtually any department store and buy shoes. Usually the same brand and style are carried just about everywhere. So, theoretically, my wife should find the cheapest shoe seller and buy her shoes there, right? Because price is really the only differentiator between these businesses, correct?

Wrong. She chooses Zappos. Why? Because they are awesome. Their motto is "Deliver Happiness." And they do. Free shipping (including return if she doesn't like the shoes), fast shipping and a drop-dead simple return policy make it easy for her to find the perfect shoe. And they charge a little extra for these perks.

You're probably thinking, "So they're fast and you can return stuff easily. So what? Everyone does that."

Right. To some extent, they do. Or if they don't, it wouldn't be difficult for them to do. But Zappos does more than just the basics to deliver happiness - they go the extra mile. Occasionally, they'll ship something overnight for free, without my wife asking for overnight delivery. They'll just surprise her with shoes the next day. And that makes her happy.

When you call their customer service, they do something completely unexpected to deliver happiness: They talk to you. Like you're a real person. It's not unexpected for their customer service reps to talk on the phone for 30 minutes with a customer. After they've solved a problem, they'll have a real adult conversation and get to know the customer.

In most customer support situations, spending that much time on the phone would get you fired. Most companies want their customer support reps to answer the customer's question and get off the phone. That way, they can answer as many customer questions as possible in a short period of time. It's more efficient.

Not Zappos. They understand that - especially for a website - you need to build a relationship with a customer. It might not be as efficient, but it's likely more profitable - they build repeat customers because people love the entire buying experience.

You'll Fail if You Don't Deliver Happiness

Delivering happinessNow you're probably thinking "OK, great. I don't sell shoes. How does this apply to me?" Your field service business is just like Zappos. Sure, you don't sell a product like shoes, but you sell a service. You have competitors - just like Zappos - who sell the same thing. And if you don't over deliver, you run the risk of customers choosing your competitors based on something as silly as price. 

So stop competing on price and start making your customers smile.

Want some examples of how you can deliver happiness in unexpected ways? Tomorrow, we'll talk about how you can leverage social media - Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Google+/Pinterest, etc. to learn more about your customers and please them in unexpected ways.

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