on life, ambitions, and dreams


How to Impress your Customers and Create Lifelong Fans

We Were Promised Jetpacks live at Neumos in Seattle

Last night I went to a show to see one of my favorite bands play. We Were Promised Jetpacks just released their sophomore album and last night was the final stop on their U.S. tour and the first time they were the headliner. Last night was also the third time I saw them play and each time they get better and better.

John and I had an awesome spot on the balcony along the rail and the perfect view of the stage and all of the band members. As we waited for the lights to dim after they cleared the stage and set up the equipment for We Were Promised Jetpacks, I noticed that the stage was very clear and there were five guitars laid out. We Were Promised Jetpacks only has four members. I don’t remember them switching guitars at previous shows like some of the heavy alternative rock shows I went to in high school, but whatever, the lights were dimming and they were coming out.

The drummer, the lead guitarist, the lead singer, and the bass player all came out on stage.

And then came two more.

They started playing – the four men of We Were Promised Jetpacks who I had seen before and two more. They played their radio hit from their second album and then rolled into the song that made them famous (at least in my book) – with five guitars.

Want to know how to impress your customers and turn them into lifelong fans?

Surprise them with what they’re least expecting.

Turns out the additional members came from the opening band, Bear Hands. We only caught the tail end of their set, so we didn’t recognize them. But, man, the whole time they were playing – and again during the finale – it just blew me away.

Whenever I hear their music in the car or on the radio, I feel warm and amazed by their sound. But last night, they just increased my utter respect for them. I have no idea if this was an icing-on-the-cake, only time that these two bands performed together or if they did that set at every show, but I don’t care. The energy that flew out of those guys during that performance started their show off with the right level of bang and exploded into one of the most amazing concerts I’ve attended in awhile.

Was I impressed before? Yes.

Am I even more hooked on them – their music, their product? Absolutely.

And now you are too.

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  • I love unexpected things (honestly, who doesn’t like surprises?).  Sadly, business-wise the only business/company that has ever WOWed me like your concert is Zappos.

    I signed up, and after I ordered my first pair of shoes I was “Surprise” upgraded to a Zappos VIP account.  It was a surprise to me, and deliberate to them, but I still remember it.

    I now have a permanent 20% off or something like that, unlimited (free) 1 day delivery, and the works.

    THAT is wowing someone – just like your concert.  

    21st century businesses seem to forget that for some reason. When we go on a plane, getting food and getting the seat you booked is expected. Getting free champagne or a free massage is the WOW factor ;).

    (If you haven’t read it yet, check out Tony Hsieh’s ‘Delivering Happiness’. A lot of business people said they didn’t like it – but I love reading about the process successful people went through, and in that regard it’s great. Especially regarding that WOW factor)


    • I, too, remember the first time I ordered from Zappos and how they upgraded me. But, customer satisfaction is at the core of Zappos’ identity and their “Delivering Happiness” creed. Not all companies are like that.

      When I was in grad school, a profess said that there are three things a company can do. They can either have great customer service, great product, or great price. A company can do one thing really well, two things okay, but they cannot do all three and succeed. There’s a business book out there that analyzed the top Fortune 100 companies and all of them focused on doing one of those things right (I’ll have to dig up the title for you). That’s why Zappos is successful, their focus is on service.

      I have “Delivering Happiness” on my ‘to read’ list as well as Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Thank You Economy,” which has the same premise.

      Did the business people say why they didn’t like “Delivering Happiness”?

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