What gestures do YOUR customers expect?

I recently picked up my car from my trusted, long-time mechanic after they completed a minor repair and a routine oil change. I casually glanced over to the top left of my windshield (as many of us do after an oil change) to see when my next scheduled change would be –only to realize that they had forgotten to update my “next oil change” reminder sticker. I was reminded that this simple gesture of changing/updating a small sticker provides the customer with comfort and trust that they actually did the work that I paid for.

In essence, the sticker gives us a small sense of satisfaction and peace of mind…but we probably wouldn’t recognize those feelings…unless the gesture was forgotten.

Whether it’s unprompted chips and salsa appetizer delivered to your table when you first arrive at your local Mexican food restaurant, the fruit garnish on your favorite cocktail, fortune cookie at the Chinese restaurant, lollipop at your local bank (not just for the kids), or simply a consistent greeting and warm, friendly smile from the receptionist – these small gestures or rituals contribute to the customers’ overall satisfaction, peace of mind, trust, and loyalty.

Do you have small gestures or rituals that your customers can favorably associate and connect with your brand? What gestures do your customers expect? Are you consistent and determined to deliver a brand encounter that meets and exceeds their expectations every time? Most often you will not receive a “thank you” for this extra effort, sometimes your gesture will go unoticed, but you can be certain that they will notice if you fail to deliver the “experience” that they have come to expect.

Contributed by Derek Champagne