Approachable Service: 18 Ways to be UNFORGETTABLE!

1. Answer in advance. Make a list of the 101 most frequently asked questions your customers. Write a short answer for each one (no more than one paragraph). Then give away that little booklet FOR FREE to every single person who walks in your door. (You could also make this into a CD, audiocassette or podcast.)
2. Use magic. Write letters, thank you notes and proposals to your clients on paper that changes color when you touch it. Everyone in their entire office will see it and talk about it.

3. Send it back. Take a prospect’s business card, scan it, blow it up, make it into a small pack of postcards, luggage tags or notepads, and then send it to him. This appeals to someone’s ego AND helps him build HIS business as well.

4. Gift Certificates. Mock up gift cards, gift certificates or “Dave Dollars,” for example, that you could us as giveaways to get new customers into your funnel. Offer 15-minute consultations, a free oil change, a free appetizer, etc. Then, when they come in once, WOW them. They’ll come back forever.

5. Added value. What if you included a little 10 tips laminated card with every purchase? For example, dry cleaners could include ideas for fall fashion and emergency stain removal. Just staple it to the receipt. Or better yet, MAKE IT the receipt!

6. Encourage repeat business. What other days of the year will customers probably need your product or service? What if, every time someone bought something from you, you included a calendar with your logo on all of the potential dates on which they would need you? Father’s Day? Valentines Day? Secretary’s Day?

7. “Celebritize” your customers. Have a featured “customer of the week” on your website. Interview him, plug HIS business and show a picture of him USING your product or service. He’ll take ownership and tell everybody he knows.

8. Banners. If you only see a few clients a day, what if you hung up a new banner, welcome sign or dry erase board for each person? Talk about a first impression! Or, what if all your employees wore nametags reading, “Welcome, Dave!”

9. Customer Advisory Board. What if, once a quarter, you invited an elite group of your biggest customers out to lunch? Form an official Customer Advisory Board. Get feedback on trends in their industries, along with tips on how to serve them better.
10. Tours. Airplane pilots often invite children into the cockpit for a tour. Then they give them official wings to pin onto their shirt. What if you held a tour of your warehouse or control room? And what if, after each tour, you had a little pin or sticker to give to each customer? Crown Candy, the greatest restaurant in St. Louis, has been doing this for decades. (Except instead of pilot’s wings, you get licorice. Sweet.)

11. As long as I’m here. What else could you do as a free add-on to your service? For example, if you provided on-site tech support, maybe you could also clean people’s computer screens or towers! No extra charge = mo’ extra value.
12. Now that you’re here. When your customers walk IN the door, what welcome gift could you offer that’s consistent with your brand? I once stayed at a hotel in Hawaii. When I approached the desk, a stunning woman wearing a native Hawaiian dress and a flower in her hair offered me free glass of freshly squeezed pineapple juice. Aloha, indeed!
13. Wait, before you go! When your customers walk OUT the door, what “until next time” gift could you offer that’s consistent with your brand? A few years ago I ate lunch at a grill in Chicago. Beside the door was a tub of cold bottles of ice water (with their logo on the labels) along with a homemade oatmeal cookie for my walk back across town. Unbelievable!

14. Signing bonuses. Once the contract is signed, what congratulatory gift could you offer that compliments your service? My realtor gave me a $100 gift certificate to Pottery Barn after I closed on my condo. I told everybody about it! Other examples: car salesmen could offer car wash coupons, clothing stores could offer free lint brushes, kennels could offer free milk bones or shoe salesmen could offer free lotion. The possibilities are endless!
15. Solve problems you didn’t create. What problems do your customers have (before they see you) that you didn’t cause? For example, if you work at a hotel, you probably encounter many guests who lose their luggage. What if the front desk had a book of gift certificates to a nearby clothing store that they could give to desperate guests? You could say, “Just tell the guys at Men’s Warehouse that Gary from the Fairmount sent ya. They’ll fix you right up!” Imagine the impression! Imagine the loyalty! And the increase in return visits will massively outweigh the cost of the gift certificates. Not to mention, it builds a mutually valuable relationship between you and the other company.
16. Make personalization easy. What can you include in your service to make the customer feel more at home? A hotel I once stayed at had iPod alarm clocks in every room so guests could wake up to their favorite songs. Rock on!

17. Donate en masse. At what gathering, event or conference could you donate your services to get in front of hundreds of buyers at once? At a recent book expo, I noticed three massage chairs positioned by the escalators for attendees with aching feet and backs. Think they “booked” any future business?
18. Remember your non-customers. What types of “poor suckers” do your customers drag around that don’t want to be there? Kids? Men? Women? What could you make available to keep them busy while the other person shops? Years ago while my girlfriend was shopping at EXPRESS, I noticed a stack of MAXIM magazines by the dressing room, right next to The Boyfriend Chair. Reading them sure made the time go by quickly!

What company offered you approachable service that was UNFORGETTABLE?

Share your best story here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

add to * digg it! * email this post

What’s your Noticeable Number?

I’ve been wearing a nametag 24-7 for the past 2,444 days.

That’s my Noticeable Number.

It’s noticeable in a conversation.
It’s noticeable in an interview.
It’s noticeable during a speech.
It’s noticeable in a book.
It’s noticeable in an article.
It’s noticeable in a blog post.
It’s noticeable on a website.
It’s noticeable in marketing materials.

First, let’s talk about the WHY.

In my experience, I’ve found seven benefits of having a Noticeable Number:

1. Remarkability. People tell their friends about it. Because it’s cool. Because it’s intriguing. Because it’s easy. And because it’s worth making a remark about.

2. Memorability. It stands out. During a conversation, for example, a Noticeable Number tends to be the most memorable item.

3. Credibility. Which comes from specificity. For example, which sounds more convincing: “I’ve read a whole lot of books on stress management,” or “I’ve read over 1800 books on stress management”?

4. Commitment. Your Noticeable Number is an observable way to reinforce your dedication. And in a business culture where trust and integrity are at an all-time low, actions that validate your commitment are priceless.

5. Differentiation. It distinguishes you in an otherwise crowded marketplace.

6. Expertise. It’s the answer to the question, “So, what makes YOU the expert?” This is especially valuable when working with (and attracting) the media.

7. Revisitability. Noticeable Numbers make customers want to check in with you (or your website) every once in a while (or, hopefully every day!) just to see where your number is at now. REMEMBER: websites are like newspapers – customers don’t want to read it if it’s two years old. How often is YOUR website updated?

OK! Now, let’s talk about the WHAT.

This is a list of several Noticeable Number examples (some are real, some I just made up):

o Dave has 4,000 hours of practice!
o Aqua Fin is being used in 137 countries!
o Lambert’s Café has thrown over 13,457,991 rolls!
o Over 3,000,000 copies in print!
o Reprinted in 17 languages!
o McDonald’s has sold over 205 billion hamburgers!
o Dr. Jameson has spoken to over 300,000 students!
o Dane Cook has 1,982,811 MySpace friends!

Wow! Pretty noticeable, huh?

OK. Lastly, let’s talk about the HOW.

The last step is to get the maximum mileage out of your Noticeable Number.

Remember these four keys:

1. ASK yourself two questions: “What’s the most remarkable/unique thing about my business?” and then, “How could I quantify that in an easily updatable way?

2. RECORD your number in a journal or online counter. Be meticulous. After all, if you don’t write it down, it never happened!

3. PUBLISH your number on your websites, blogs, marketing materials and the like. Be sure to update it regularly. This makes the media happy.

4. LEVERAGE your number by peppering it into conversations, interviews, blog posts, articles, or any other form of communication. NOTE: no need to make a big deal about it. You don’t want to come off as conceited, but rather, convinced.

THE BEST PART: once you discover and leverage your Noticeable Number, you WILL get them to come to you.

“Them” meaning old customers.
“Them” meaning new customers.
“Them” meaning the media.

AND DON’T FORGET: people who get noticed get remembered; and people who get remembered get business.

What’s your Noticeable Number?

Share it with us!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

add to * digg it! * email this post

Sir, why are you taking a picture of the elevator?

Um, because it’s AWESOME, that’s why.

I don’t care if a guy fell out of the 17th floor window and miraculously survived, my friends at the Hyatt Minneapolis rock.

Look at their sweet elevator button. Classic example of making the mundane memorable. I’ve never seen an elevator in all my life with such a great button. (Except maybe The Hughes Group from last year’s post, elevator action.)

Now, I know what you’re thinking: it’s a damn elevator button! Who cares?

I dunno, maybe the guest who’s claustrophobic. Maybe the child who’s crying because the elevator stopped mid-floor. Maybe the person who saw Speed way too many times.

BOTTOM LINE: when was the last time you actually noticed the elevator button, thought it was cool, snapped a picture of it (!), then posted it on your blog for millions of people to see?


What if it wasn’t an elevator button. What if it was your business card?

Seen any cool elevator buttons before? Tell us about them!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

add to * digg it! * email this post

I can’t believe I’m actually blogging about this…

I recently sat down to dinner with my girlfirend at the famous Forest Park Boathouse. As usual, we checked out the design of the sugar packets on the table.

<------And this is what we saw Ladies and gentlemen, I'm about to say something I never thought would end up in my blog: these are the coolest sugar packets I’ve ever seen!

Our sweet friends at Equal have created a perfect example of EVERYTHING I’ve been writing about in the past year:

Mundane into Memorable: it’s a damn sugar packet! Doesn’t get more mundane than that. But Equal decided to transform an ordinary confection into brand-breathing brilliance!

When was the last time you took home your sugar packet and showed it to your friends? Or blogged about it?

Do Something Cool: After I read the first few packets on my table, I started walking around to every other table in the restaraunt and stealing their sugar packets. (The other customers probably thought I was diabetic.) But these packets were so cool, I wanted to collect them all! Kind of like baseball cards or McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.

Have Fun: Try to visualize the marketing department of Equal, sitting around a board room table, brainstorming slogans like: Banish the Bland, In Favor of Flavor, Do Your Drink Justice, Embrace the Taste, In Taste We Trust, Power to the Packet! Come on. That’s freaking hilarious. It’s almost so ridiculous, it’s cool.

Remember when UPS started embracing their brand (echh! the color brown?) by asking customers, “What can brown do for you today?”

Same thing. Equal is becoming unforgettable and unique and cool and fun in an otherwise boring market where there is no discernable difference between competing products.

(Oh, and did I mention: it’s a damn sugar packet!?)

Sweet & Low? Regular sugar? Fughettaboudit!

I’m an Equal guy now.

Power to the Packet!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

add to * digg it! * email this post

The World is a Mirror, Part 13

I is for IDEAS
J is for JOY
M is for MUNDANE

Today I’m celebrating my six-year anniversary of wearing a nametag 24-7! Woo hoo!

Which means it’s day 2,191 – but who’s counting, right?

(Actually, the counter at the bottom of my website is.)


Wearing a nametag 24-7-365 for six big ones represents a simple, yet powerful business idea: make the mundane memorable.

I’m still surprised more organizations don’t embrace this. It’s not our corporate policy. It violates our company’s handbook. We don’t want to do anything risky.

Come on. That’s garbage!

Businesses NEED to be doing this stuff. Because when companies can find a way to make the mundane memorable, fives things happen:

1) Customers start talking
2) Employees have more fun
3) The brand lives and breathes in a new way
4) Uniqueness shines through
5) Loyalty skyrockets

QuikTrip is the perfect example of this. I fill up at QT whenever possible (ahem, loyalty), just to hear the cashier say, “Hurry back!”

That’s what they say. In every transaction.

Not “Have a nice day.”
Not “Thank you, come again.”

They say, “Hurry back.”

And people do. Not to mention, they’ve made the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For 3 years running. Wonder why?

Mundane into memorable.

Or Bishop’s Barbershop in Portland, where you can get a great haircut for roughly the same price as anywhere else. Except at Bishop’s, the minute you walk in the door for your appointment, the receptionist gives you a free bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

That’s just cool. I don’t even drink, but I used to go there when I lived in Portland, just to get the free beer!

Mundane into memorable.

Then there’s my favorite ad agency, The Hughes Group. When you walk into their elevator, you’ll notice 21 buttons, just like any other elevator. Except theirs doesn’t say “4,” it says “Hughes.” And you better believe every client, potential client or guest comments about it. Then they tell five other people about it. Awesome! (See a picture of the button on my original post from 2005.)

Mundane into memorable.

Or what about the parking garage down the street from my office? Every time I go there for a meeting, the guy in the little ticket box takes my slip and says, “That’ll be $4000!” I go back there every month, just to hear him say it. A parking garage! It doesn’t get more mundane than that!

The point is: this stuff is easy. Yet very few companies (and people) do it.

Because they’re scared of stepping out of their corporate comfort zones.

However, for those bold few who choose to embrace the mundane, here’s what happens:

Breaking the silence = breaking the pattern.
Breaking the pattern = mundane into memorable.
Memorable moments = increased comfort.
Increased comfort = increased approachability.
More approachability = strangers into friends.
Friends = people who become loyal, aka, fans.
Fans = people who love your stuff.
More fans = more positive word of mouth.
More people talking about how much they love your stuff = 🙂 🙂 🙂

Mission accomplished.

When was the last time someone make the mundane memorable for you?

Picture your typical day. You interactions with customers, prospects, coworkers. Now think specifically about five mundane moments. List three ways each of those moments could become more memorable. Post your lists here and next week I’ll compile all the answers for a new article (along with a link to your organization’s website.)

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

add to * digg it! * email this post

Sign up for daily updates


Daily updates straight to your inbox.

Copyright ©2020 HELLO, my name is Blog!