You may know the word “lagniappe” is a Cajun phrase for giving something extra. It can be a physical item or going out of your way for someone.
If you want to stand out, you provide lagniappe, whether as a corporate employee, an entrepreneur, or as a person. You stand out by giving beyond what someone expects.
Lagniappe experiences are memorable. Here are a few examples from the last few weeks.
- In the donut shop, in addition to the dozen donut holes I’d bought to share with friends, the shop owner added an extra.
- At my regular produce stand I asked Juan the proprietor for my normal one basket of strawberries. He put a large, juicy one on top of my already overflowing basket.
- During my massage in Siem Reap, Cambodia, my practitioner placed a fragrant bowl of plumeria on the floor beneath my head brace for me to enjoy while she kneaded my back.
- The Singapore Airlines cabin crew supervisor asked if I’d be willing to fill out a service evaluation. When I did, he rewarded me with as much on-board swag he could find — Singapore Airlines cards, pens, stationary — even a toothbrush.
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with a little something extra to add to a customer’s order. That’s when the intangible lagniappe makes a difference. It doesn’t have to be much, really, to make a stand out. Small things like remembering someone’s name, their preferences or complimenting them on what they’re wearing. A sincere smile and “It’s great to see you (or talk to you)” will stand out.
What have you received as lagniappe? How did it make you feel about the experience? What could you offer to those with whom you interact?