Earlier this week I awoke to find my car vandalized. In the middle of the night someone smashed the windshield, stole my stereo and broke the steering column. Stressed and frustrated I called my insurance company, GEICO. I was dreading the conversation, expecting to speak with a callous insurance agent that couldn't care less about my situation. Although I had never before filed a claim with GEICO, I developed a preconceived expectation based on the hundreds of customer service reps I've been on the phone with over the years.
To my surprise, the GEICO agent (I wish I remembered her name!!!) went above and beyond.
"Ms. Morris" she said, "I've noticed that you've been with GEICO for over 7 years. Thank you for being a dedicated customer. I know you might be worried about how this will effect your premium. This is covered under the comprehensive portion of your policy and since it's a not-at-fault claim, your premiums won't increase. I'd be glad to help you find a body shop in your area and arrange for you to drive a rental car while your car is being worked on."
Wow. Thank you for talking to me like I'm an actual human being and not just a number. You exceeded my expectations and now I am telling my friends.
The lesson? People will talk if you give them something to talk about.
If you meet my expectations and nothing more - I have no story.
If you are terrible and don't meet my expectations - I will bash you.
If you are stellar and exceed my expectations - I will praise you. This is the key to Viral Marketing.