Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A WOW Fund

(1:12) One of my favorite businesses for over-the-top customer service is the online pet food company Chewy.com. If you've been a longtime reader of my Minutes, you know that I've written about them in the past.

(1:06) I recently encountered another example which illustrates a key point. A woman posted on a dog related Facebook group about her experience. She was signed up for Chewy's Auto Ship feature which allows pet food orders to be sent at regular intervals with an extra discount on each order. It's a good deal that unfortunately our vagabond lifestyle doesn't allow us to take advantage of.

(0:55) Her elderly dog passed away the day after her auto order of 60 pounds of dog food arrived. She emailed Chewy to cancel the service explaining why. She wrote, "Later that day they responded to my email with a heart felt response. In that letter they told me they were going to credit the dog food they sent. They said they did not want it sent back to them and that I should donate it to a shelter in Jake's name. I was very impressed with this company."

(0:42) That's very nice but not surprising as I've had similar interactions with Chewy myself. But then they did a WOW.

(0:38) She continued, "A few days later, I came home from work and flowers were delivered to my home....with condolences on the loss of my furry family member. I cannot say enough fabulous things about this company. I am placing this on Facebook because I want as many people to know this is a company that you should use if you need dog food. It is nice to know companies truly care."

(0:28) Finding a way to truly WOW your customers is priceless. The goodwill created and spread across the internet by this woman can not be duplicated with a banner ad or thousands of dollars of glossy print pages. And all of this for the price of a floral arrangement.

(0:21) As marinas have seen the downfall of traditional media, I am often asked how they should now spend their marketing budgets. How about setting up a WOW fund?

(0:17) Putting this in your budget does two things. First, it offers a way to earmark funds you've previously spent on outdated media for a more useful purpose.

(0:13) Second, the simple act of formalizing this notion sets in motion the discussion of how you can WOW your customers. All ideas should be considered and no idea should be deemed too outrageous. In fact, I would argue that the more unique, the better.

(0:06) WOW boaters and you will not only create loyalty, you will reap the marketing benefits of scores of happy boaters singing your praises.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.