Apr 18, 2022 • 4M

Crash Landing

How to Help Customers Tough It Out

 
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Stanley Bogode
This audio column explores the intersection of culture, business, and morality. But mostly fart poop jokes. Welcome.
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As our Disney World trip approached its end, the melancholy set in. I enjoyed our last day, but as I did I also watched the light at the end of the tunnel recede: the following day, we would fly 500mph. In reverse. Forcing myself to leave a fantasy land in favor of the real-world was like kicking a crack habit: not fun, and I probably shouldn’t have done so much crack.

As it happened, two of our friends also returned from a Florida getaway the following day and we met up to lament. The cold and bitter Chicago winds felt like an ex-lover rubbing salt in our happy place as we reluctantly hooked back up, “I knew you’d be back,” howled the bristling breeze as it slapped our collective faces. Then I learned something interesting.

According to one of our pals, some avoid this comedown by planning two vacations in advance. As the first vacation ends, they touch down softly on a bed of future plans already made. Genius. And if we can do that for ourselves, why can’t we do it for our customers?

Not every product or service rewards customers immediately. And some services are painful until the customer ultimately benefits. Think Korean body scrubs. The people who perform this service rub what is effectively sandpaper across every part of your body, even some parts that biologists haven’t discovered. The pain is excruciating. However, by the end you feel a sense of rejuvenation — and you’ve shed three-pounds of skin.

Those benefits would’ve been nice to know before a small Korean man treated my private parts like his first woodshop project. If we have the opportunity to tease outcomes for customers, we must take it. Anticipation is proven to be more delightful than surprise, so we must build that anticipation for benefits that come in the future, especially when the interim is rough. From my personal experience, TrustPilot does this well.

At my behest, we partnered with TrustPilot at Shrimpy to improve our rating on their platform. During our sales calls, TrustPilot teased the ability to show our star rating on Google search results, one we could only display after reaching a minimum number of reviews. It would take time and a lot of work before we got to that point, but TrustPilot fed me enough motivation to justify the efforts and resources required.

Whether your product delights immediately or rewards customers far down the line, don’t let them crash. Tease the next trip, wrap it in Mickey Ears, and then get to work.