Awesomeness

A series on the Faithlife core values: Honesty. Openness. Awesomeness. Growth. Initiative. Elegance. Shipping.

We live in world of quality products. Where it is unusual to repair a product, because products either rarely fail, or are so cheap that when they do we simply purchase a newer, better model for less than the cost of repair.

Every business aims to provide excellent service. A 60-cent candy bar has a toll-free customer service number on the wrapper, and a call will ensure a complete refund of your expenditure and an apology for the inconvenience.

Today, doing a good job, building a quality product, and serving customers well aren’t things that set a business apart. These things are the norm.

Awesomeness still stands out.

  • When a product has a surprisingly useful or fun feature, that’s awesome.
  • When someone exceeds your expectations in service, that’s awesome.
  • When you’re surprised by something delightful, that’s awesome.

It’s awesome if it’s something people would tell other people about. It’s awesome if it makes people say “That’s awesome!”

It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. It doesn’t have to be consistent.

Just awesome.

It’s hard to be consistently awesome. It takes hard work and creativity. Sure, you could throw money at the problem, or build elaborate checklists and flow charts, and turn some mundane things into awesome things. But the best awesomeness is a surprise.

Our customers would find it awesome to discover a $100 bill in their new software package as an ‘instant refund.’ If every package had one, though, people would soon wonder why we didn’t just lower prices and reduce complexity. If it were routine, it would lose its awesomeness.

How can we be more awesome?

Go beyond what’s required once in a while. If a customer has a problem we can address with a $50 credit, give them a $70 credit. Not every time. Not every customer. Just once in a while. Because it’s awesome when you get more than you deserve.

Actually listen to people. So many people call or write with a story about why they need us to break a rule, not apply a policy, or make a special exception. It’s easy to receive this on auto-pilot, and hold to the rules. And we need to. Except sometimes we shouldn’t. Because it’s awesome when someone overrules a policy to help you.

Surprise someone. Send a thank you note after a routine transaction. Include a tiny gift in a shipment. Implement a feature that’s fun and delights people.

Is there a part of our business, product, or service that isn’t awesome? Put together your own ‘awesome brainstorming team’ and come up with some awesome ideas on how to fix it.

Is there a way we could be more awesome for our customers? Suggest it.

It’s hard to be awesome all the time. But it’s one of our core values – and one of the things that will keep our customers happy, returning, and telling others about us.

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