Photo by Mary Mavis

How often are you delighted by one of your service providers or vendors? For me, it’s pretty rare. I don’t buy much, and most purchases are not big ticket items. So, when I recently experienced the attention of a new online vendor, I was blown away. Here’s the story.

About a month ago I dropped my office headset in a body of water (don’t ask). I quickly looked up replacement possibilities online (can’t imagine picking up the handset to talk on the phone). I found the replacement at http://www.headsets.com/. I ordered, and the package came in a couple days on schedule. I opened the package, full of packing peanuts and saw: about 12 individually wrapped chewy candies. At 10 p.m. this brought a big smile to my face. I love candies just like the ones sent. I proceeded to install my headset and eat a few candies.

The following day I received an email asking if I had received and been satisfied with my purchase. The email wasn’t from one of those “do not reply” addresses. So, I replied saying “yes, all was OK and, by the way, I LOVED the candy in the box.”

A few days later, I received a second box from the same outfit. Immediately, I thought they made a mistake and resent my order. When I opened the box, I found packing peanuts and: about 12 individually wrapped candies. This time I also noticed a label on the box that says “Packed with Customer-Love by Matthew.” A real person with a name packed my box (note that it doesn’t matter if it’s really true or not).

What happened? I have told anyone who I think might buy headsets and am re-telling the story in this blog post.

And, more importantly, I am observing and thinking about my own practices. Do I—

  1. Ask my clients whether they got value from my coaching?
  2. Really listen to what they say they appreciate (imagine that they might even be delighted)?
  3. Give them more—right away—of what they value?

Do you? Who are your key customers (internal and external) for whom you want to give this experience? What about at home—anyone there with whom you could ask, listen, and give more of what they want?

When I think about what it took for this company to produce the result with me, it seems only to rely on—an intention and simple execution. There was a little more expense and a tad more time, but look at the results with someone like me. I’m actually going on their site to see if I can buy something else, which surprises me even more.

Let me know how this strikes you? Does it seem too basic? Does it motivate you?