I bought a new pontoon boat two weeks ago! Actually, I traded in my old pontoon boat for it. It’s not really brand new since it is a used boat with low hours (that’s boat talk for low mileage!). But, it is still new to me. And, I have driven it every day I have been home since I took delivery. That’s more than I drove my last boat in any six months period. I wonder if it felt neglected.


Now for the true confession part. The new boat is the same brand, same size, and same color as my last boat. It has the exact same features. The engine is also the same brand and size. It even sounds just like my old boat. But, it’s new! And, it feels new to me…at least in my mind!


Customers like new and shiny. There is something adventurous or exploratory about new. It makes customers feel like they have completed a small accomplishment or achieved a sensory renaissance. Whatever the psychology of new and shiny, customers like it. And, they typically like it more than old and familiar.


What can you do to extend the new and shiny of your customer experiences?


Nordstrom is famous for extending the shiny. “We try to guess what is beyond our customers’ purchase,” John McClesky of the men’s suits department at their Dallas store told me. “If a customer buys a sports jacket, the obvious extension might be slacks or a tie. But if you learn the customer is buying the jacket for a cruise, you might explore dressy shorts, an ascot, or a Panama hat.”


John continues: “But, slipping a complimentary set of collar stays in the newly purchased jacket pocket (a frequently forgotten item on a trip) can leave a customer absolutely awed.”


Play out in your mind the possibilities of what customers will be doing, thinking, and feeling after you have met their presented need.


What small gesture or service souvenir would make this customer swoon? Sometimes a bit of subtle conversation about life after the met need can surface opportunities.


Instead of asking, “How do you plan to use your new camera?” ask, “How will you use it in the next week or so?”


Make your queries reach into the future and the customer will provide clues ripe for extending the “new and shiny” well into the future.


Note: For more more about making your customer experiences “new and shiny,” I invite you to  check out “Twenty Things Today’s Customers Want.”

Image via wnk1029 at Pixabay.