Originally posted on April 1, 2023
New York City weather turned fabulous early afternoon on this Saturday. We walked around the park and then stopped at a small Italian restaurant for a quick lunch.
The owner, dressed impeccably, stopped by each table and said hi. He asked how the food was and connected with his customers. While the food was very good, one of the most interesting parts of this dining experience was the owner. He didn't have to stop by at each table but he did. He chatted with the customers at the next table and asked them about the dog. He introduced himself with his first name. He didn't miss anyone.
NYC has countless good Italian restaurants. At the end of the day, while the customer is paying for the food, they are really paying for the ambiance, experience, and customer service. Today, this owner differentiated his restaurant from others.
This made me think of customer success and driving customer loyalty. Many products provide the same functionality. In the technology world, customers have many choices in enterprise software solutions. When timing is right, organizational maturity is accommodating, and budget is available, the decision often comes down to trust. Can I trust this vendor to do the job and if something happens, do I believe that this vendor can be a good partner to resolve things. What differentiates and creates life time value is customer service and making the customer feel like they are the most important and special.
After each sale, I think the CEO should make a personal call and in-person visit to the customer and say I am here if you need anything. Here is my number. Do this very frequently.