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What Does It Mean To Give Your Customers The Red Carpet Experience?

How many people are you losing because you treat even one person poorly? What’s at the heart of good or bad service? You are.

Customer Experience Lessons Learned From Pretty Woman

We’ve all experienced it, and none of us has ever forgotten. We went to a store and were mistreated, so we went somewhere else and received exceptional service and bought their products.

How many of us thought about going back to the first store to show them what they missed out on? Sound familiar? That’s exactly what actress Julia Roberts did as Vivian Ward in the movie Pretty Woman.

No one who has seen the movie could ever forget this famous line from perhaps the most memorable scene from the movie: “Big mistake! Big. Huge.”

The line is delivered when Vivian Ward, loaded down with bags after having shelled out serious cash at another store, returns to an upscale boutique where condescending clerks had shunned her because she didn’t look like she could belong.

By many standards, this is the best shopping montage of all time because, in that particular scene, Julia Roberts played the proverbial “everyman.”

Who has not felt like they’ve been shunned, disregarded, ignored, judged and made to feel inferior or unimportant as a customer? In this scene, Julia Roberts scored a win for all of us.

Customers Don’t Forget — Ever

And like Julia Roberts’ character, customers don’t forget – ever – especially a bad experience. In fact, they amplify their feelings about the experience, a product, service, and brand – at massive, revenue-impacting scale – by telling everyone they meet about it.

And with the Internet, social media, blogs and texting, the number of people who hear about these bad experiences has grown exponentially.

How many people are you losing because you treat even one person poorly?

What does providing bad service to one person cost your business when one complaint can go viral in minutes, whether or not the facts are accurate or embellished?

Why Losing Even One Customer From A Negative Buying Experience Is A Big Problem

Social media has the power to take one “shared” negative experience and communicate it to thousands – even millions – of people. This post is one of the thousands of examples:

Apparently arriving at the airport an hour and a half early isn’t enough when the line to check in takes over an hour to get through. Thanks for nothing #americanairlines. Maybe rethink your queuing system to create some order. Three lines funneling into one teller just isn’t working out for anyone. #badservice

Treat Them Like A VIP, Every Time

Now the bad news – studies have shown that 53% of customers altered their buying habits for one or more years after having a bad experience. Losing even a single customer can be very costly.

It’s critical for companies to turn a complaint into a positive for the customer and for the company. How much is poor service costing you?

What’s at the heart of good or bad service? You are.

It is up to you to ensure that every customer is taken care of, to delight them so much so that they are one of the few who does share positive stories and recommend your business.

It’s up to you to make every customer feel like they are the center of attention, the most important VIP your business ever had. That’s what we call the Red Carpet Treatment. How does it work?

5 Keys To Delivering The Red Carpet Experience For Your Customers

  1. Offer real help and show a genuine interest in their needs. Courtesy and friendliness aren’t enough.
  2. Provide help selecting the right product or service for their individual needs, wants and desires.
  3. Ask questions that are direct, but non-confrontational or pushy and deliver specific information that builds on moving the process forward.
  4. Find out exactly what the needs, wants, and desires are of the customer. When they seek financial advice, they want peace of mind. When they get an eye exam, they want to see better. When they look for clothes, they want to look good and be comfortable.
  5. Offer to show the customer how the product or service works for them, and then let them experience it for themselves.

A Great Customer Experience Is Not A Luxury— It’s The Expectation

The Red Carpet Experience is not a luxury in business today, it’s the expectation.

It doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or onerous. It just needs to be thoughtful.

So, what are you going to do every day to show genuine appreciation to the people who have chosen to do business with you?

Keep in mind, when customers don’t get the Red Carpet Experience, they never forget.


In Sales EQ, Jeb Blount takes you on an unprecedented journey into the behaviors, techniques, and secrets of the highest earning salespeople in every industry and field and teaches you how to become an Ultra-High Performer. Download your FREE chapters of Sales EQ here.

About the author

Richard F. Libin

Richard F. Libin

Richard F. Libin has written two acclaimed books that help people of all walks…

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