I discovered this little piece of heaven on holidays this year. It’s a place on the Sunshine Coast in Canada, and I fell in love with it so much, I have gone back twice already. Both times that I caught a glimpse of the view, I got goosebumps and my eyes welled up with tears. In other words, I experienced 2 pure moments of “WOW.”

I think as we get older we have less of these wow moments. Think about it, children can discover multiple new things in a day that WOW them, but as time passes we have higher expectations and sadly less new experiences. So a “WOW” when you’re my age is extra special.

So let me ask you this, can you recall those moments when you have experienced something so “out of the park” amazing that it took your breath away? Maybe the birth of a child, an incredible gesture of kindness or a beautiful view? Now think about your business. This business that you chose to leave corporate life to do. This business that allowed you to pursue your passion. Now, let me ask you, “when you look at what you are delivering to your customers” are you delivering, (I mean TRULY delivering), that WOW?”

I was recently reading a great book that really brought this topic home.  It’s called “Platform” by Michael Hyatt and he suggests that the definition of a successful business is one that recognizes when the Wow is absent and refuses to settle for anything less. So today I’d like you to think about what you could do to blow the minds of your customers. To cause them to experience such a rush of positive emotions that they are bursting to tell others about you and/or your offerings.

Here’s some ways that hopefully will help you think of how you can go that extra mile.

Over Deliver – Review what you currently offer verbally, in your proposals, in your printed materials and on your website.  Now offer something that increases the value by at least 25% for absolutely nothing.  This could be a bundle of your favorite books, unlimited email access to you, an additional program that is super popular, a VIP only event….the options are endless.

Up Your “New Customer” Experience – When a new client comes on board do you do something to truly welcome them with open arms.  How do you present your products and services?  Do you include a welcome gift? Do you outline next steps clearly?  Do you have special touches or privileges  for your customers?  Consider setting out a budget for a new customer just to put towards packaging, additional time spent with them and/or a special gift or special delivery.  Go way beyond what a competitor is doing.

Up Your Communications – How often do you talk to your customers after the initial purchase and in what fashion?  Consider mixing up sending them thank you’s or reminders or cards in the mail with emails, phone calls and even a personal meeting.  If your competitors send Christmas cards, send Christmas chocolates or a Christmas basket.  Send them thoughtful information or connect them with another useful resource.

Thank them when they leave – as small business owners, we can be easily offended when a customer chooses to no longer work with us.  Imagine their surprise if you show gratitude even when leaving.  It’s very important to collect as much information from departing businesses as possible to learn what you can change and improve.   Make sure you ask them and then also thank them for their business and let them know you are genuinely sorry to see them go.  Ask them what they liked and what you could improve upon and then send them your thank you in the mail in the form of a handwritten card or even a small gift.

Your Challenge (should you choose to accept it)

Some say that one of the quickest way to go out of business is to invest your marketing dollars in a bad (or blasé) product or service.   But it can also be tragedy to lose your passion for you business and go on day to day knowing you could do more. Make it count, be memorable and keep upping the “wow” bar. What’s one thing you can start doing today to blow your customers away?

And, hey, feel free to share your “wow” moments too.  I’d love to hear them.

AvatarCidnee Stephen

Cidnee Stephen is the owner of Strategies for Success, a marketing company that focuses on the needs of budget minded small businesses and professional services. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.