I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard business owners say they want to “delight their customers.”

Every time I hear it I want to throw my fellow Wizard of Ads partner Tom Wanek at them and say, “you can’t delight your customers unless you meet their expectations and make it easy for them first. Sometimes trying to delight your customers actually lowers their satisfaction with your experience.” (notice, cool 3-tiered pyramid)

Case in point, he had a jeweler client whose employees were tasked with delighting their retail customers. Their NPS scores plummeted from that point. On further study they discovered that by trying to find a way to delight the customer on every visit, they were taking up their time. Customers would abandon their purchase just so they could get on with their life. Hmmm, not easy = not delighted.

My Difficult Experience with a Home Service Company

Today I was reminded of this once again when I needed mosquito control for my yard. My wife, 4 yr old, 2 yr old and I have been eaten up recently. We use citronella plants and candles, and we’re still battling swarms whenever we go into the yard. So I called ChemFree, the company here in Austin who did a great job taking care of our roach problem. We love Harvey, their technician. We also had a great experience with another of their techs who removed a dead bird from our chimney for free.

“Hello, Chem Free, this is Jim, how can I help?” (good start, easy)

“I’d like to get mosquito control for my yard. I’ve been a customer of yours.”

“Ok, let’s see, we could conduct an evaluation for you… next Tuesday.”

“You don’t have anything sooner?”

delighting customers is not easy “Hmm… no.”

“And once the evaluator comes out how soon would they spray for mosquitoes.”

“We’d get a tech out to you within a couple days after that.”

“I had an evaluator out in the past. Do I need to have one come again?”

“Let me look, what’s your address…?” (why didn’t you do that to start? I told you I was a customer) “…yep, you’re still going to need to have an evaluator come again.”

I remember the “evaluator.” He’s a salesmen who wanted to get me signed up for whole home pest prevention: mosquitoes, roaches, lawn care, etc.… I endured him the first time, because no one else could even answer my phone call. I reluctantly scheduled an appointment and began looking for another company who could get to us faster.

Remember, I’m not wanting better service.

I’m not looking for delight and pixie dust.

Just protect my kids and my wife as soon as possible.

Make my life easier, and I’ll be delighted.

Finding an Easy Company to Work With

After looking through some generic websites that didn’t tell me much, I found another business named Barefoot Mosquito who talked about their service using specifics, had a lot of great reviews and also promised natural mosquito protection. I called to see if they could get to my house faster.

“Hi, this is Alli, how can I help you?” (good start, easy)

“I’d like to get mosquito control for my yard. How does that work?

“Let’s start with your address…” “…Ok, from the foliage you have it looks like we could reduce the mosquitoes in your yard by 85%-90%. It’s $89.99 for each visit, and we’d come every three weeks.” (Wow, that’s a real estimate over the phone, and it’s cheaper than the other guys who have to pay the salesman).

“How soon could you come?”

“Looks like, we’re out about a week… next Tuesday”

“So that’s when I get an evaluation?”

“No, I can tell from Zillow and Google that the plants in your yard would be sufficient for the natural repellent we spray to lower your mosquito population 85%-90%. That would be the day we spray. There’s no further evaluation needed. I can take your credit card information over the phone, and we don’t charge you until the day after your service.

Notice how they made my life easier? They eliminated the evaluator via this technology called the internet. She gave me a credible estimate of the relief I’d feel based on some easy to find pictures from the internet. She gave me confidence in their ability to meet my basic requirement. She also made it easy to get rid of mosquitoes.

My wife and I are delighted at that prospect, even when it’s only two days faster.

I went back to their website homepage afterwards and found a video showing satisfied customers telling their very authentic and excited stories about their Austin homes that were now mosquito free the day after these guys arrived. Sold. I’m cancelling the appointment with my previous company. These guys should conduct a tutorial off their video. They’re amazing testimonials. Maybe that’s a topic for another day….

Need Met + Easy = Delight

I realize that you as a business owner are swarmed with issues on a daily basis that make you feel like it’s not this simple. But from a consumer standpoint, it is this simple. The bar for mosquito control (and for most businesses) is set pretty low. Show up when you say, get there within a week, and do what you say you’ll do. If you can do that, you’ll win.

If you want to be a truly remarkable company, get there faster (like same day) and make it even easier. Think about Amazon. They’re not worried about delighting you. They just make it faster and easier. And aren’t they the fastest company to a $1.5 Trillion valuation?

It sounds selfish of me to say, but I don’t want to think about what you do. I want to enjoy my kids and wife as much as possible. Make it easy for me to do that, and you’ll win my money over and over.

Once you become remarkable, the only problem you’ll have is telling your amazing story. You might think about calling Tom… or me, if Tom’s too busy. ;-)