Category: Customer Delight

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

Listen to your customers.  They will tell you what they like and don’t like.  Sometimes you will be tempted to tell them they are wrong.  They may very well be but listen to them anyway.  You will most certainly learn something.  If it’s a bad comment, you may have a new hypothesis to test with other customers and you may find an opportunity for a new feature or product.

The best customers are those who care enough to interact with the product and the company that makes it.  Listening to them either dote or rant provides that opportunity.

By the way, don’t listen to the media critics.  They say they represent the customers but they really want to see you fail.  Stick with the customers.


BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson


“Surprise comes from defying expectations.” – Seth Godin

Most of us have low expectations.  Perhaps it’s because of the way we are treated by the cable company or the airlines.  Perhaps it’s the lawyer commercials late at night.  The constant barrage of advertising tends to desensitize.  There is so much noise we can’t hear anything.

I’ve gotten used to standing in line to order a $12 salad and then having to buss my table even while they are sweeping the floor around my feet.  That’s why it’s really something when the server actually makes a recommendation without the standard “Well, it depends on what you like.”

The good news is people are primed for positive experiences, and they don’t even know it.  If you can solve a problem in a way people don’t expect, at the very least they will give you some of their attention.  If your product or service happens to inject a pleasant surprise, something the customer did not expect, then you will likely have a customer who will pass their excitement on to others.

My first iPod came in a brightly colored box that was a 6″ cube; a very unusual package in a world of plastic blister pack that is impossible to open.  I slipped off the sleeve and the box opened in half.  On one side read “Designed by Apple in California”.  The other half simply said “Enjoy”.  Of course I opened that side first and there….. there it was, my first iPod.  It was pure white and shiny.

I remember this some 12 years later because it was a beautiful surprise.  What is it about a product where the memory of opening the box outlasts the product itself?  And I have just passed that along to you.


Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, come sit next to me.” – Sara D. Roosevelt

If your competition starts bashing you, that means you are threatening them and that’s good.  As more people start talking about you in social networks, you’ll get the good the bad and the ugly and much of it may be lies.

I heard a news story today about a rich guy who shorted a particular company’s stock to the tune of a BILLION dollars.  He then set out to tear them down and that included giving a substantial campaign contribution to his congressman to press for an FTC investigation into his target.

Don’t know what to say about all that except this –

Your customers chose you for a reason.  Stay focused on them and stay focused on why you’re different from all the rest.  The fact that others are threatened proves you have something of value and they have determined to try to beat you in the social networks rather than in the market.

Your good reputation in your market is a teflon coat that makes their mud slide right off.


Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window” – Steve Wozniak

This is a great quote where you get to decide what it means.  It came from Guy Kawasaki’s book “Reality Check” and I think it’s the “anti-technology” technology manifesto…

For me it’s about making sure the technology serves a purpose other than itself.  In other words, people buy technology to solve problems and to achieve their goals.  Your product development should take this into account, making sure you consider how the customer will “live with it” after the sale.

We’re talking about more than a spreadsheet exercise here.  This gets into the “delight” zone of customer value.

Know this, if your app or your device does not solve a problem with minimal effort and a sweet experience, it’s always possible it gets thrown out a window…


Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Do good work and share it with people” – Austin Kleon

Entrepreneurs and artists can learn a lot from from each other.  One lesson is the art of sharing.

Whether you write songs or write code, it’s only a hobby until you share it.  In that moment it becomes art because that’s when people interact with your innovation and get to decide if they like it, want it and are willing to exchange their resources (money, time) to acquire it.

In any event, they will let you know what they think.  What you do with that information is up to you.  You can only hope that they will love it or hate it.  Either way they will remember you.  If they are indifferent, you become beige wall paper, but even that is information you can use.

Create something every day.  Share it as soon as you can.

Read “Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“There are only so many ways to skin a cat, and everyone in your competitive set is carrying the same set of knives.” – Jay Baer

Solving customer pain is vital and fundamental.

If you are in a highly competitive market, your competitors know this and they have their version of the solution.  If you’re first to market, it will be easy to copy your solution and expensive to defend it.

So the question is; “What sets you apart?”  This takes us into the realm of Customer Delight.  Being better includes the customer’s experience using your product and the relationship they form with your company.  It’s not all about features.


Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson


“Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt me while I’m doing it.” – Ray Danner, Founder of Shoney’s

A lot of “experts” will review your business model and tell you it doesn’t make sense or they don’t get it or more likely, just simply smile and say “that’s nice”.

Success in a startup is not measured by winning pitch competitions or even being accepted in a great accelerator program.  All these institutions have people who judge your idea by preset criteria and they bring their personal biases into it.

Success in a startup is not measured by getting venture capital.  The statistics still say that less than 10% of those seeking institutional funding will find it.  Less than 2% of them will actually provide a return.

A funny thing happens along the way…  As you start to get traction and grow your customer base, the opinion of the experts starts to improve.

Only one thing matters: solving a big problem for which people are willing to pay for the solution.  There’s only one place to find that answer; the person with the problem.

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosbey


It’s interesting how often people predict the doom of Apple because of the iPhone.  Every version had quirks and bugs and yet we are on the 6th (?) version and Apple continues to set the standard.

Startups have plenty of “advisors” and critics.  The community is being overrun now with entrepreneurial service providers, accelerators, mentoring programs and the like.  Angels groups are growing and now we have crowd funding for investors.  All of these interests have their value in helping to shape entrepreneurs for success.

But there’s really only one measure…

Are your customers buying your product?

If the advice you’re getting does not point you to that, then it’s bad advice and a likely key to failure.

“Advertising is a tax for having an unremarkable product.” – Robert Stephens

You will have to let the world know about your product.  The easiest and cheapest way to do that is to let your customers do it for you.  They will if you delight them and solve their problem.

If your prototype is drawing a mediocre response, find out why.  People don’t rave about so-so.    You could release anyway but convincing people to buy mediocre takes a boat load of cash.

Delighted customers create community.  People like to join communities.

Be remarkable.