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Wow your customer.

It’s a simple statement with a profound significance.

When placed into the right context, this simple phrase becomes altogether invaluable wisdom for anyone looking to start or grow their own business.

A statement made famous most recently by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who is known as a master of dissecting businesses and why they’re successful, has stated that he believes this is the number one most important principle for success in business.

But why is it so important? And why do so many of us get this wrong in the beginning, so much so that it costs us our business?

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Have them walk out the door thinking, ‘I have never had a better experience with a human being,’ and they will come back to buy your car.

– Warren Buffett

To wow or “delight” your customer means to give each person that comes in contact with your business the most incredible experience possible.

Examples of this include:

  • Courteous, non-pushy salespeople
  • Taking the customer’s interests and situation to heart
  • And personalized suggestions

This extends beyond the obvious, though, as well. The possibilities are endless, but examples include:

  • Opening the door for customers as they walk in
  • Offering refreshments
  • Going above and beyond in your service to them by doing something extra for them – a phone call, bonus materials, special discount, etc.

Why your customer experience can make or break your business

So, what’s the purpose of doing all this? By giving your prospective customers the best experience possible, you’re communicating to them that you care, that you’re placing their needs and wants first. And, really, as customers that’s all that we really want.

We want to interact and do business with someone we feel is truly going to take care of our needs and wants. If you give your customers an amazing experience they feel taken care of, and won’t just come back once – they’ll throw out all other options and make you their exclusive choice, even going so far as becoming raving fans and vocal flag bearers of your brand.

The opposite scenario? You give your prospective customers a negative experience, leaving a bad taste in their mouth which leads to fewer sales, less repeat business, and fewer referrals. And, no matter what anyone else tells you, even with all of the amazing advents in business with the Internet and online marketing, the best marketing remains word of mouth.

If you risk giving your customers a bad experience, you risk your entire business. And if you’re fortunate enough to stay in business? At the very least, instead of generating exponential results and sales from a single customer, you’ll be struggling in the one-to-one game: getting one customer who results in no further repeat sales or referrals, meaning you’ll be working constantly to get new customers.

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How will you wow your customer?

We covered some examples already, but if you’re looking to grow your business exponentially and want to garner long-term success (who doesn’t), start thinking of ways you can improve your own customer experience.

This part all depends on what kind of business you have. If you’re retail, this is much more hands-on:

  • Greeting customers
  • Showing customers to fitting rooms and allowing try-ons
  • Offering surprise discounts
  • Employees who jump at the chance to help you find what you’re looking for and go above and beyond to look for it for you
  • Positive speech that doesn’t talk down

If your business is online, this can be other things such as:

  • An effective system for customers to track their orders (I can’t tell you how many people outside Amazon screw this up)
  • Surprise bonuses after purchase
  • Well-crafted emails with items or things that match that customer’s previous purchases or expressed interests
  • No spam
  • A social experience that doesn’t overmarket your product or service but rather provides value within the same topics as your product or service exist
  • If you ship products: Surprises in their box as well as stellar packaging that blows them away

So, how will you wow your customer? The ways to do so are limitless and mostly apply to your business model, but the principle holds true no matter what industry or space you’re in: wowing your customer is one of the single most important principles for achieving success in business.