What a French Creole Cooking Term Can Teach Us About Customer Loyalty

Josh Linkner
July 14, 2019

Josh Linkner

Five-time tech entrepreneur, hyper-growth CEO, NY Times bestselling author and venture capitalist.

After finishing an incredible meal in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the best part of the experience may very well be the lagniappe (pronounced LAN-yap). While it sounds like a fancy seafood dish, a lagniappe is actually an unexpected gift.

That special dessert, complements of the chef. The small box of chocolates for you to take home. The ice-cold sorbet to cleanse your palate between courses. The fact that it comes as a complementary surprise makes it all the more special.

In my own businesses, we have a cruder mantra: "Don't forget the dinner mint." It's a persistent reminder to always deliver that little extra something. We strive to constantly deliver lagniappes on every project and with every stakeholder, internal or external.

Obviously, a lagniappe can be a physical gift such as the 13th doughnut free when buying a dozen. But it can also represent unexpected over-delivery in any context. If you've been asked to research four competitors for a big meeting, think how delighted your boss will feel when you deliver five. If your client is expecting eight new ideas for a new marketing campaign, showing up with eleven will blow them away.

Jack Welch, the famous former CEO of General Electric often said the way to get ahead in business is to deliver what's asked of you - to a tee - but then always show up with something more. That additional, unexpected slice of value on a consistent basis is a surefire way to drive career advancement, according to Welch.

In today's highly competitive environment, meeting client expectations is merely the ante to play. But tossing in a lagniappe can be the difference-maker to driving customer loyalty and growth.

Fortunately, these little extras need not break the bank. DoubleTree Hotels became wildly successful by offering warm chocolate chip cookies upon check-in. Just a few pennies of cost drove millions in shareholder value as customers savored treats while booking up hotel rooms. The prize inside CrackerJack, the iconic popcorn brand, drove far more customer loyalty and growth than the core product itself.

As you serve your customers, colleagues, and partners, consider adding lagniappes of your own. A tiny over-delivery can drive a tremendous boost in satisfaction and loyalty. Sprinkle in that unexpected dose of extra value, and your stock will rise at an unprecedented rate.

The next time you're about to deliver work product - internally or externally - pause briefly to ensure you've topped it off with a lagniappe. Simply put, don't forget the dinner mint.


To book Josh Linker for your next event, visit his profile: https://premierespeakers.com/josh_linkner

Josh is the author of four books, including the New York Times best-seller The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate TransformationHacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers, and Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity. To order copies in bulk for your event, please visit BulkBooks.com.

The post What a French Creole Cooking Term Can Teach Us About Customer Loyalty appeared first on Josh Linkner.

Josh Linkner

Want Josh Linkner for your next event?

Find out more information, including fees and availability.
Find Out More
Keep Reading
Does Your Business Have a 'Test Kitchen'?
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
October 13, 2019
Underneath one of the many Shake Shack restaurants in New York City lives the breakaway restaurant ...
The Beauty of Uneaten Cantaloupe
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
September 29, 2019
On a recent business trip to Denver, I was able to grab breakfast at one of my favorite morning spots. ...
The 5x5 Decision Model
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
September 22, 2019
You've got a tough decision to make, yet conflicting interests and perspectives can render you frozen from taking ...
Does Your Business Have a 'Test Kitchen'?
Underneath one of the many Shake Shack restaurants in New York City lives the breakaway restaurant chain's Innovation Kitchen. The full-time team isn't filling the orders of hungry guests; rather they're inventing what diners may enjoy for years into the future. The underground lab focuses all its resources on inventing what's next rather than d...
Read More
The 5x5 Decision Model
You've got a tough decision to make, yet conflicting interests and perspectives can render you frozen from taking decisive action. We've all been there. Having observed how the most successful people evaluate their options and then make a thoughtful decision, here's a framework that may be helpful when you're trying to make a choice in the fa...
Read More
Five Big Questions to Gain Clarity, Sharpen Focus, and Drive Results
In our increasingly busy and scattered lives, getting clear and focused can feel like an insurmountable task. We live in an era of distractions vying for our attention the way high-strung paparazzi try to capture that perfect celebrity photo. Knowing that most of us can't take a three-month sabbatical to hang with monks in mountainous isolati...
Read More
The Unique Problem-Solving Approach of History Makers
For decades, transportation experts and city planners who studied traffic congestion in major cities came to the conclusion that not much could be done to improve gridlock. Based on available street widths, speed limits, and other constraints, they were correct. But Elon Musk approached the problem in a completely different manner. Instead of...
Read More
The Can't-Not
The promo for tonight's local news runs across your screen: "Two of the items in your pantry right now could kill you. Tune in at 11:00 to find out which ones." After hearing this announcement, you can't not tune in. When you learn about a hot tech company that offers unlimited days off, tuition reimbursement, cool offices, and a change-the-worl...
Read More
How Tiny Innovations Can Yield Gigantic Results
Gaining competitive advantage, better serving customers, and standing out from the pack can feel just about as challenging as running a double marathon barefoot. The difficulties are exacerbated if we find ourselves in mature industries with deeply entrenched market leaders possessing the resources of a small country. How can we compete and win ...
Read More
How Swapping Two Words Can Transform Your Success and Happiness
As the competitive nature of our world continues to increase, success can feel elusive. Whether your sights are set on landing a promotion, raising capital, wining that new account, or inventing a game-changing product, you'll need to break free from traditional thinking in order to seize success. The ones who score the brass ring are not nec...
Read More
Playing Guitar With Three Missing Strings
Studying jazz guitar in college, I had a professor that would force me to remove strings from the instrument. One, two, sometimes three strings had to be removed before I attempted a performance. You might guess that gutting half of my available resources would crush my ability to play, let alone be creative. Yet a surprising and counterintui...
Read More
How The Most Successful Leaders Respond
We all get provoked. An angry associate; a cranky customer; a snarling spouse. In these cases, the primitive part of our brain designed to protect us in the wild kicks in and our autonomic response is to recklessly fire back. We lash out, hit below the belt, and respond with uncontrollable emotion. That's where the problems begin. We end up s...
Read More
A Powerful Two-Step Approach to Drive Results
When we look to initiate change or growth, some sort of behavior shift is generally required. Want to sell more products? It probably involves making more cold calls, training more salespeople, or improving marketing efforts. Looking to remain relevant in the workforce? This objective will likely require more learning, reading, or skill developm...
Read More