District 9 inspired me to exceed customer expectations

You already know that a way to create passionate customers is to under promise and over deliver. Think of a movie that you thought would be good that turned out to be fantastic. You remember it for a reason. It was better than expected and this experience is always more memorable then watching a fantastic movie that you already expected to be fantastic. As the title says, District 9 helped remind me the importance of exceeding customers expectations. So, should you intentionally simulate this experience for your customers? Yes, you should.


Here is a private message that I wrote for the VroomVroomVroom staff magazine today.

Every time you exceed a customers expectations, you make VroomVroomVroom more money. This means we can give out more staff bonuses and buy more cool stuff for the office! So how do you exceed customer expectations? Well, you’re a smart person. We wouldn’t have hired you if you weren’t. You’ll need to be able to think of ways to exceed customer expectations on the spot. Some examples might be:

  • randomly sending a car rental customer a gift in the mail without warning
  • meeting them at the airport and lending them your babyseat that you don’t use anymore
  • compensating them when the car rental companies don’t represent themselves as well as they should
  • program some code to tweet the customer with the cheapest price of the car rental search they just did
  • ask if they have anything interesting planned for the weekend. When they answer, don’t change the subject. Continue the conversation.
  • ask them what their favourite thing to do in their city is. Then ask them if you can quote them and their answer to add to our website.

You need to answer a question. How can you exceed your customers expectations?

Tink and Swish in a Swordsmiths sales war

A long long time ago there lived 2 swordsmiths. One named Tink and the other named Swish. Tink and Swish were the greatest swordsmiths in town. Even though they were competitors, they didn’t mind, they both had enough work to keep them busy.

One day, more competition arrived from a large neighboring town and Tink and Swish were worried about losing business. They needed to act quickly.

Swish decided to advertise at the local pub where his warrior customers hang out. He paid 1 gold coin to advertise on the pubs notice board. His advertising paid off! For 1 gold coin of advertising, he made 2 gold coins in return! A whole gold coin profit! This was a lot of money back then. 1 gold coin could buy 3 stallions, food for a month or even a night with Giselle. She was very beautiful.

Tink took a different approach. He decided to help the warriors at the pub with their swords and new sword fighting techniques.

Before long, the new competition in town noticed the advertisements and decided to advertise their swords at the pub too. The pub was loving it! They soon ran out of advertising space so the costs went up and up and up and Swish was now only breaking even on his advertising.

Meanwhile, Tink still wasn’t spending anything on advertising, yet everyone knew him or at least knew someone who knew of him. Even warriors visiting from out of town heard about the war stories that were fought using Tinks swords.

As Tink watched Swish complain to the bar management about the obscene advertising costs, he smiled, knowing that warriors talking about him and his swords was the greatest source of long term sales he could ever have.