Last weekend it was my birthday. Whilst I carry on like kid at Christmas about my birthday, this article isn’t about that. It’s about how switched on businesses are leveraging birthdays and significant events as an opportunity to give a personalised experience to their customers, which in turn is now delivering real results.

High-performing sales teams are 2.8 X more likely than underperforming teams to say their sales organizations have become much more focused on personalizing customer interactions (Sales Force

Customer experience has rapidly become a unique competitive advantage that is hard to replicate when done well. This is far more powerful than a thoughtful gesture and should not be underestimated.

So as you can imagine, I was a little surprised when just three businesses wished me a happy birthday, which I thought was a small number considering the large number of businesses that I transact with and most of which have access to my personal data.

The first message I received was from my gym Energize Health Club wishing me a happy birthday and telling me to pop by reception to collect a present. WOW! I shared this message on social media and with several people (and now all of you!) which has no doubt positively contributed to their brand via word of mouth. Interestingly, word of mouth is still the source of information most people rely on when making a purchasing decision.


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74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions (Nielson Report).

The other two messages were from my previous fitness escapade and Blackmores (Bravo!). Blackmores offered me a discount code which is a brilliant way to prompt me into action to buy.


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In stark contrast, on my birthday I went to a spa where on arrival I was asked to fill in a survey, which included my personal details and obviously my date of birth. Nobody registered that it was my birthday today and therefore failed to leverage it as an opportunity to knock my socks off with an exceptional customer experience. In my humble opinion, this is a missed opportunity. After-all, we buy emotionally!

As you can see this article isn’t about me crying out for birthday love. It’s about identifying an opportunity; a sales strategy that can deliver real results. It may seem too obvious or too simple, but the fact is that very few businesses are doing it. In the current competitive marketplace, the trend towards the “small gestures” might just help differentiate you from the crowd and get people talking about your brand. We’ve even found that simple thank you cards are going a long way.

If you’re still not convinced about the power of customer experience, here are several facts which will hopefully inspire you to take action:

  • 73% of companies with “above average” Customer Experience maturity perform better financially than their competitors (Temkin Group)
  • By 2020 more than 40% of all data analytics projects will relate to an aspect of customer experience (Gartner)
  • 84% of organizations working to improve customer experience report an increase in revenue (Dimension Data)

I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on how you are embracing customer experience as a sales strategy.

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