Top Automotive CX stories from the Purple Goldfish Project


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Extras with horsepower

The Purple Goldfish Project was an effort to crowd source 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe. Brands that give little unexpected extras (g.l.u.e) in order to drive differentiation, improve retention and promote word of mouth. This post is the second in a 12 part series looking at the top 200 examples from the Project by industry. Here is a baker’s dozen of examples that accelerate customer experience:

logoLexusLexus of Greenwich (submitted by Tom Haidinger) – The Lexus of Greenwich Service Team is outstanding and delivers lagniappe in a very meaningful way. With a typical dealership service experience, the “little something extra” you receive is a grease covered paper floor mat left behind (but otherwise you can’t really tell if your car has been serviced). At Lexus of Greenwich you get your car back looking like its brand new – they wash your car inside and out and vacuum it too! It simply feels good to get into your “freshly serviced” car when its been washed as well!

bmw overnight test driveBMW of Bridgeport (#150) “I was driving up to New Haven yesterday on I-95. I noticed a interesting billboard from BMW of Bridgeport. It was fairly simple purple goldfish. BMW wants you to take an overnight test drive. IMAGINE THAT – they are willing to give you a vehicle for an extended period. No driving around with the salesperson (I hate that by the way) and no more imagining what a BMW might look like parked in your driveway. I’ve done a little research. There is probably a strong reason why they want you take the car. Here is an excerpt from a JD Power survey in 2007:

“When it comes to the test drive, most shoppers expect to be able to test drive the vehicle for an hour or more, with most premium brand shoppers expecting to test vehicles for five hours or more. Most shoppers also expect to be able to take the test drive on their own, without the salesperson accompanying them.”

Strong move from BMW of Bridgeport. Even if those who test drive don’t buy, they are probably going to talk, tweet, post or blog about it.

Busse Automotive (#331 from Mindy Luebke) “My local car repair, Busse Automotive in Mt Prospect, IL. washes my van for free after any work is done.”
[Footnote: This evening, I mentioned to my husband that I submitted ideas to your project. He reminded me that not only does Busse Automotive wash my filthy suburbanite mom mini-van but Mark Busse, the owner, personally sends a hand-written thank you’s for our business]

Enterprise (#551) “Enterprise Rent-A-Car — the largest rental car company in North America — marked a significant milestone in February 2007: its 50th anniversary. To commemorate this achievement, thank the customers and communities that made this success possible, and look forward to the next 50 years, Enterprise made an unprecedented gift to The Arbor Day Foundation. Enterprise has formed a partnership with the Foundation to plant 50 million trees over the next 50 years a gift, in total, of more than $50 million dollars.”

lexus of north miami spa

Lexus (#628) From an e-mail from Carolyn Ray. At Lexus of North Miami people who come in for service are entitled to a complimentary spa service at their in house spa. Services include, manicures, pedicures, haircuts, waxing or chair massage. There is a full service cafe, kids playroom, fitness center and pool room for waiting customers. Makes coming in for service a total pleasure!

mountain view tireMountain View Tire (#605) Taken from a blogpost by Business Voice called ‘Are You Delivering Cold Drinks?’
“I was heading to Lebec, California and blew out my tire just north of Burbank. I called the Magnolia [Road] location and spoke with Leville Slayton. He dispatched Jacob Pomaville to my location where he retrieved the tire from my vehicle, brought it back to the store, replaced the tire, and repaired the wheel. Amid this stressful situation, Jacob had a cold drink ready for me and, beyond that, actually purchased two jack stands from a nearby auto parts store, as neither one of us had them. I wanted to share this story with you as it is a rarity, especially in the Los Angeles area. They have secured me as a new customer with their exceptional service and care.”
What about your company? How are you delivering “cold drinks” to your customers? Again, it’s not something that has to be “part of the plan,” but, for it to work on a sincere, memorable human level, the question “how can I best serve my customer today” needs to be part of your company’s DNA. When that question permeates your culture and your staff works every day to answer it, you’ll garner the type of loyalty and earn the good word of mouth that Mountain View Tire does.”

ford mykeyFord MyKey #741. Taken from Guy Kawasaki’s ‘ENCHANTMENT’ speech at 2011 SWSXi. MyKey®, an innovation from the company that introduced SYNC®, allows parents to limit speed and audio volume to encourage teens to drive safer and improve fuel efficiency.
Harris Interactive Survey shows that many parents would allow teens to drive more often if their vehicle was equipped with MyKey – helping young drivers build road safety experience
MyKey debuted as a standard feature on the 2010 Ford Focus and is now a no-cost feature on nearly all Ford and Lincoln models.

safelite repairSafelite #706 Submitted via e-mail by Lee Silverstein

“As I wrote about in my blog post “Adding Value Doesn’t Have To Cost A Nickel”. After replacing your damaged windshield, Safelite Auto Glass cleans ALL of your windows and vacuums the interior of your car. Love your site!”

Chevy Cruze #821 has an app for that. Cruze will feature a smartphone app that allows drivers to control numerous functions by remote. The application through General Motors’ OnStar allows the owner to check the fuel gauge, lock and unlock the car, set off the horn and lights alarm and perform onboard diagnostics, such as checking tire pressure, by remote.

An enticing feature for a car in that price range

— Michelle Krebs, Senior Analyst and Editor at Large

lexus-lfaLexus #864. Taken from a tweet by @car_advice: According to a Motorpassion report, Lexus is setting up a team of engineers throughout Europe who will attend broken-down LFA drivers in the quickest possible means, even if the use of a helicopter is required.
On top of this, the report says if the engineers are unable to fix the LFA on the spot, the driver will be given a Lexus GS 450h to borrow while the car is being fixed. It gets even better. Lexus is also said to be prepared to provide five-star accommodation to drivers during the time the car is being repaired.

Chevrolet #871 Chevrolet Cruze Warming Parties is a unique program where proud, new owners of a Cruze host a party at a local restaurant for up to 20 friends.

classic audi of orlando serviceAudi of Orlando #949. Submitted via comment by Jordan Belcher (@kjbelcher) I have a bit of a natural distrust for dealerships, so to say I was apprehensive about taking my car to Audi of Orlando for some repairs would be an understatement. But that was before I knew that these guys know how to convert a non-believer.
I called in advance to ensure they would be able to see my car (my local mechanic was slammed, hence why I arrived at the dealership in the first place). The woman on the other end of the phone told me that they too were a bit busy, but that they would be able to look at the car today. With that, she asked me when I would be arriving and I told her that I would be there in about 30 minutes.
When I arrived, a “service consultant” was waiting for me. Let me play that back – he wasn’t just waiting for the next person to drive up, he was waiting for ME. He addressed me by name and had my car’s file on hand. He asked me to pop the trunk and – within seconds – gave me a brief description of what the issue was, how long it would take to fix and what the approximate cost would be. Next he told me that they could take the car immediately (under-promise, over-deliver much?) and that I wouldn’t need to wait – a “courtesy rental” had already been reserved for me. All I needed to do was go sign some documents and I could drive out immediately and get back to work. Whoa.
Needless to say, at this point, I was pretty amazed. When I walked inside, the rental associate told me that I would be receiving a 2011 model of my same car at no cost for as long as the repairs took. Pretty awesome.
To wrap things up, the dealership called later that day to tell me my car was ready, but unfortunately I couldn’t pick up the car until the next day. They told me “keep the courtesy car as long as you need, your car will be ready when you are” – did I mention the rental was FREE? For as long as I want?!
I came to pick up my car the next morning and could tell right away that it had been cleaned. Nice touch. The service consultant gave me the bill for the repairs, but also indicated that some add’l work had been done that I didn’t request – a routine $45K mile service. He noted that “the service was done at no charge since you are a customer of ours”. WOW.
I’ll definitely be back.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Guy Kawasaki talks about a concept called D.I.C.E.E and uses the example of Ford’s MyKey:

What's Your Purple Goldfish? BookYour experience is now your marketing. How do you stand out in the sea of sameness? How do you win repeat customers and influence word of mouth? Is your CX sticky? Are you Giving Little Unexpected Extras?

What’s Your GLUE? What’s Your Purple Goldfish?

Buy the book here for $9.95 using this special discount code: GL546Y5S

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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