What’s the Secret To a Great Customer Experience?

What’s the secret to a great customer experience?

I’ll keep today’s post simple – and fun. Bob Farrell, founder of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlors, shared the secret to a great customer experience in 1973 (yes, almost 50 years ago!!), when he developed a motivational speech for new employees called Give ’em the Pickle!, based on a letter he received from a disappointed customer.

The key lessons of that letter? Don’t be opportunistic. Don’t make a dime because you can. Check out the video above to get the details on the letter and his speech.

What’s the extra or special thing that you do to make (and keep) customers happy? Certainly, Bob advocates for you to make serving others your Number One priority.

To that I add: Don’t be opportunistic. Don’t make a dime just because you can. That’s the whole point of the pickle story.

In my book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the Customer in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business), I wrote a chapter titled, “Houston, We Have a Problem.” In it, I write about some of the reasons for customer experience strategy failures. One of those reasons is a misplaced purpose, which is often about maximizing shareholder value rather than creating and nurturing a customer.

One of the stories I share in the book is about this quote from Nirmal Mulye, CEO of Nostrum Laboratories, defending his decision to raise the price of a drug five-fold, to $2400!

I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can… to sell the product for the highest price.

He says he’s in the business to make money. But what about customers? What about the impact on them? Does he even care?

Compare and contrast that to Bob Farrell’s pickle story. Yes, I know. One is 75 cents, while the other is hundreds of dollars (or more). The same principle still applies.

So, what’s the secret to a great customer experience? Do what’s right for and by the customer. That’s the magic. It’s as simple as that.

The trick is to find out what the customer wants. Make sure they get it. That’s the pickle. -Bob Farrell

Related: The Employee Platinum Rule