1. Phone Greeting. Call any of the 1000+ 24-Hour Fitness stores around the world and they’ll answer the phone with, ‘It’s a great day to get in shape!’ What are the very first words out of your mouth when you answer the phone? Something boring like, ‘Thanks for calling’? Come on. You can do better than that! Have some fun. Say something that reinforces your brand and makes people smile.
2. Phone Goodbye. Take a hint from Disney whose employees (er, cast members) close every phone call with, ‘Have a magical day!’ Or learn a lesson from QuikTrip whose cashiers always say, ‘Hurry back!’ What are the very last words out of your mouth when you hang up the phone? ‘Have a nice day?’
3. Phone Number. Figure out what word or expression your phone number spells. Instead of digits, use the letters on your marketing materials, business cards and in conversations. Imagine telling a potential customer, ‘Sure, just give us at a call at 548-LOVE!’ Quite memorable, indeed. Go to http://www.phonespell.org/ to find out what your number spells!
4. Entrance. At the Mac store by my office, the familiar Apple logon sound chimes every time you walk in the front door. At The Yetti Bar in Leysin, Switzerland (best burgers in Europe) the door handle looks like a Yetti paw! How could you make your entrance memorable AND reinforce your brand?
5. Computer Kiosk. The portable check-in computers at Jet Blue post revolving greetings like ‘Howdy!’ ‘What’s up?’ and ‘Welcome!’ The Continental kiosks show a hilarious image of a passenger carrying too many bags when you’re prompted for your luggage. Is your computer kiosk that cool?
6. Ticket. When I went to see Transformers, I got a free comic book with my ticket. I told everyone I knew about it. What else could you give YOUR customers with their stubs?
7. Waiting in line. When your line is out the door, what if a manager walked around and introduced himself to every customer? He could take an advanced list of customer needs, offer water bottles and play with impatient children. Sure would make the time go by faster! How do you make your impatient customers feel more welcomed?
8. Waiting for a while. If it looks like your customers are going to be delayed for more than 20 minutes, hold a contest. Reward the winner with a free gift. Keep the contest materials in a box, always ready for an emergency situation. It would be fun, cool, remarkable and ease the pain of the wait. TED Airlines did this while we were in a holding pattern. We had to guess the weight of the aircraft, baggage and passengers included. The winner got a free first class upgrade for a future trip!
9. Waiting room. What if, in your waiting room, you had a TV playing non-stop movies and a popcorn machine to offer snacks while people wait? You could even have a schedule on the wall: ‘Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: Comedies. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays: Dramas.’ You could even name it as if it were your own company TV station!
10. Announcements. Southwest Airlines was the first company to actually have fun with their standard PA anncouncements. Instead of saying, ‘In the event of a water landing,’ they say, ‘Should our flight turn into a cruise liner…’ People love it! And they actually listen, too. What’s more, SW has been written up in magazines for this memorable moment! How much fun are you having with your announcements?