Lagniappe (Pronounced - Lan-Yap, for us Aussies)
“I was charged a fair price,” is not the statement of an excited customer, yet many business owners mistakenly believe they need only to convince the public that they will be treated “fairly” to win their business. Phrases like “Honest Value for Your Dollar” and “Fair and Honest Prices” tempt me to say (with no small amount of sarcasm), “Yippee Skippy, call the press.”
If the most your customer can say when he walks out your door is, “I was treated fairly,” your business is pitifully stale and you have virtually nothing to advertise. Why? Because the expectation of “fair treatment” is such a basic assumption in business dealings that most people take it for granted. What we really hope to find is “the delight factor.”
Let’s say Cecil owns a produce market and advertises that his scales are the most accurate in town. His competitor across the Street, Fat Charlie, tends to be a little more expensive, but Charlie’s produce is always better. The main reason people shop at Fat Charlie’s, though, is the delight factor. Order ten pounds of potatoes and Charlie will happily toss potatoes onto the scale until it reads “10,” then he’ll find a particularly nice potato and place it on the top of the pile with a beaming smile and an exclamation of, “Lagniappe!”
A Cajun word, Lagniappe means “a little bit extra.” If Fat Charlie doesn’t add the extra potato, you can bet he is going to hand you a juicy plum or a peach or a handful of fresh cherries from beneath the counter, but one thing is certain: Fat Charlie isn’t letting you leave without “Lagniappe!” the delight factor.
Cecil has chosen to be the town’s low-cost provider, and as such, will always have a predictable customer base of bargain hunters. Fat Charlie, however, will enjoy more word-of mouth advertising than Cecil, and will also have a much higher average ticket due to the many add-on purchases stimulated by his generous free samples.
Yet, there is another, more subtle difference. As you walk out of Cecil’s, you feel that you and he are “even.” You got three dollars worth of potatoes and Cecil got three dollars. Everyone who leaves Fat Charlie’s, however, walks out with a feeling of delight. Charlie makes sure you get more than you anticipated. You never leave Fat Charlie’s feeling “even.”
Appealing to the emotions rather than intellect, the delight factor is a powerful thing. If Cecil and Fat Charlie were in your town, where would you buy your produce?
- End of Wizard Tower Chronicle -
When was the last time you gave your customers more than they where expecting? Do you ever?
If your customer base is thinning, it could be because your customers are being delighted... elsewhere!
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