Are you really giving your customers a 5-star experience or are you just convincing them to prop you up like Bernie as a favor?

The prevalence of Google has brought the notion of 5-star service to the forefront of consumers’ minds in recent years. 5-star service is a highly subjective concept that lives solely in your customer’s perceptual reality. You can attempt to manipulate the response you get, but you cannot change whether or not the customer secretly believes they got your 5-star service.

What does an authentic 5-Star review mean?

  • One Star: You done messed up now, A-a-ron.
  • Two Stars: You did the job…terribly.
  • Three Stars: You showed up, did the job, and charged me accordingly. It wasn’t worth it.
  • Four Stars: You were clean and professional. You did the work properly and I value the effort and specialized knowledge.
  • Five Stars: Everything in four stars, and that special little surprise that left me delighted!

Your customers are less than satisfied when your salespeople are NOT:

  • Asking questions that give them a clear understanding of their prospect’s needs
  • Acting in a trustworthy manner
  • Demonstrating products and services in a knowledgeable, entertaining, and enticing way
  • Approaching the solution with a variety of options
  • Appearing grateful, helpful, or engaged
  • Delivering delight

Does this mean you won’t sell something? No.

Can you still get a 5-star review? Sure. You just have to ask for it. If the customers had an acceptable experience, they are inclined to be friendly.

But did they experience 5-stars? No.

Have they subconsciously betrayed themselves when giving a 5-star review you didn’t earn? Yes.

Can they justify doing it out of pity? You bet.

Does that build loyal, long-term customers? No.

So how does one go about earning an authentic 5-star review?

The answer lies in The 12 Stages of Loyal Buying:

  1. Identify:You notice a prospect either virtually or in person.
  2. First contact:You make eye contact or a virtual connection that is reciprocal.
  3. Connect:You have a mutually beneficial exchange of information.
  4. Shake hands:You find common ground and mutually agree with rapport.
  5. Purchase:You make your first sale with the customer.
  6. Deliver:You deliver what you’ve promised.
  7. Delight:You deliver something you didn’t promise to the delight of your customer.
  8. Follow up:You intentionally stay in touch without a selling intention.
  9. Support:You find opportunities to deliver unrelated value when the opportunity arises.
  10. Referral:Your customer refers family and friends of their own accord, not for reward.
  11. Validate:You treat your referral consistent to the experience of your customer.
  12. Repurchase:Your loyal customer buys from you again.

The real magic of a 5-Star experience happens at step number seven. Assuming that you have done a good job at each step leading up to delight, not attempting to skip steps along the way (that’s just creepy), delight is where loyalty ignites.

When you’re watching a movie and jump at the scary scene – that’s delight.

When you flick on the lights and everyone screams, “Surprise” – that’s delight.

When a tear comes to your eye because of the incredibly kind and thoughtful gift you received – that’s delight.

The foundation of delight is surprise. -Roy H. Williams

When you can legitimately surprise your customer with something really special, really unexpected, and really thoughtful, you do what every great magician does –delight.

The magician knows how to do the trick, but they never expose how the trick is done.

That is the theatre of sales.

Delight is where the magic lies.

Just remember, delight only happens at the end, after the sale is made. You can’t make every single step along the way a magical moment. First and foremost, the customer wants a quick, simple, and safe buying experience.

Think of delight as the cherry on top.