Sometimes the best customer experiences happen by serendipity.

I recently pooled my Amazon gift cards to purchase the complete 5-DVD collection of the Best TV Show Ever. When it arrived, I put disk one into the DVD player I rarely use with huge anticipation. Then. Nothing. Happened. (Yup, the DVD player wasn’t working.)

So I headed over to my local Best Buy. I walked in, asked for help, and said I just wanted a basic DVD player so I could watch one TV series.

Which one? asked the sales associate.

Babylon 5.

Turns out he loves Babylon 5 too. So does his colleague, and they talk about it all the time. So the three of us stood around for five minutes comparing episodes and talking about the brilliance of J. Michael Straczynski’s vision.

I walked out of Best Buy smiling.

Wowing your customers should happen every day.

In What’s Your Purple Goldfish, Stan Phelps argues that companies need to stop spending so much time on acquiring new customers and spend more of it wowing the ones you have. He identifies 12 ways to wow your customers, including  throw ins, guarantees, ways to ease the pain of waiting in line, and more.

There’s a 13th way to wow your customers: encouraging your employees to be themselves. If you hire wisely, they will bring your brand to life.

Photo by Eric Ferdinand (Flickr).