May 28, 2015

How Waving at Your Customers Will Get You More Referrals

How Waving at Your Customers Will Get You More Referrals

A couple of years ago, we moved from a small town in Arizona to a big city in Southern California, and we had some concerns about our son – who was just turning 13 and had never lived in a city – being thrust into a big school environment. So we found a small, alternative school; a school we thought suited his temperament and talents.


The founder of the school, Dr. Stuart Grauer, told us the Grauer School was committed to instilling values like compassion, individuality, and personal responsibility into kids.


He was absolutely passionate about what the school stood for, and through those values, he connected with my husband and me.


Grauer branded the school as a humanitarian school. “The world doesn’t need more CEOs,” Stuart told us. “It needs people who will give back and create change.”


We happened to agree, and so we took a leap.


When I delivered my son to school on the first day of seventh grade, the Dean stood on the corner waving and smiling to each car that pulled into the drive. At the other end of the car line stood a high school student who also smiled genuinely and waved.


How nice, I thought. How delightful that they’ve got teachers and students outside saying hello on the first day. How comforting. 


I figured that show would end with week two, the way most season openers do.


Here’s what’s crazy. We just wrapped up the eighth grade about six weeks ago. Two years have gone by! And do you know that every damned day for two years, that dean and a high school kid waved and smiled at us?


I mean without fail.


They waved, smiled, and told me good morning.


They welcomed our son, called him by name, and started his day in a positive, connected, and personal way.


More than 400 times.


That moment — that wave — is a touch point. Brands come to life at touch points.


We change the way people feel about our businesses, and hopefully about the world, through touch points.

As business owners, we put our money where our mouths are in touch points.

We create extraordinary experiences with touch points.

We make our customers say, “I can NOT believe they just did that.”


Our customers TALK about touch points.

And that talk? It manifests itself in referrals.

Touch points are the sparkly stuff of brand legends.


It’s seems the simplest of things, doesn’t it? To wave? But it can’t be underestimated.


In the “old world” of marketing we could imagine a CEO (or the headmaster of this school) standing in front of an internal meeting, ordering a couple of teachers to wave at the kids and then forcing them to do it every day. The program might have lasted 30 days.


Not so in today’s world.


The wavers at my son’s school are authentic.


They enjoy their morning waves because they like their jobs. They like the students and they like their co-workers. They believe in the school’s philosophy.


How do I know? I can feel it.


And here’s the REAL deal. The waves were just the beginning. Every time this school touches me, I get the same feeling.


Stuart Grauer didn’t train these people to wave. He created an environment where waving and welcoming is naturally rewarded. With relationships. Then he hired the type of people who value relationships.


He built an authentic brand, based on a bona fide higher purpose. And he engineered extraordinary moments.


Do you wave at your customers?


Do you do something else that amazes them? (Share with me in the comments below.)


How many times do your customers walk away, scratching their heads, saying, “I can’t believe they just did that.”


Or is it time to engineer some extraordinary experiences that show the world what you’re all about?


Good Juju and Brands that Have It , How to Brand Your Juju
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