There was a time when the initials BTO meant one thing, yes pop pickers, Bachman-Turner Overdrive. But as times change we find out that three letters can mean something else quite different, let me explain.
Recently I received a free copy of the magazine Bird Table, the official BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) magazine. And what a pleasant arrival it was. Full of useful readable articles, good tips and wonderful photography. I guess that we all get customer magazines from organizations we don’t really care too much about – for example I receive ones from my building society, health insurance provider, dental insurance plan company to name just a few. And do you know what? I can’t really say that I actually read any of them, at best I skim through them. Maybe it’s because they are almost expected now that they have no real value to me.
But the copy of Bird Table arrived as a welcome surprise. So why did I receive a copy? Well it was simply because I did something for them. I gave them some of my time – I completed one of their on-line garden bird surveys. Brilliant isn’t it! You do something for someone with no expectation of return and yet you get something back from them that you really weren’t expecting.
And the thing is I now have a completely different attitude to the BTO, that’s the birding organisation by the way not the Canadian guys with the beards who sang those rather catchy songs.
The BTO are now firmly on my radar, as a brand, and they are one that I want to return the favour to. I’m actively looking at things I can do for them in return. Wonderful, isn’t that such an easy way to interact with people.
So, the question is what can you do for your customers, suspects or prospects to give them a nice surprise and hence generate some real positive goodwill? It doesn’t have to be a big gesture, just something unexpected. It’s simple, it’s not new but it still works.
So what is it going to be? And maybe if you are really clever it will be something that your customers ‘ain’t seen yet…’