The word comes from the Louisiana French adapting a word brought into New Orleans by the Spanish creoles. It is derived from the South American Spanish phrase la yapa (referring to a free extra item). In Andean markets it is still customary to ask for a yapa (“a little extra”) when making a purchase, and the seller responds by throwing in a little extra (Wikipedia).
What’s Your Lagniappe?
The term lagniappe came up in an executive roundtable discussion this morning, opening up the doors for business owners to think about what “something extra” they can give to their clients to make their buying experience special. One company includes a small package of cookies with their office supplies order, another tosses in a scratch-off lottery ticket, another includes a “how to use it” ideas guide with products.
My own experience recently was with a flat tire. I went to change the tire and found that the spare was also flat, so I had a friend run me up to a local gas and service station to fill it up. I returned later with the damaged tire and the serviceman removed the offending nail from the tire, patched it up and put it on my car.
But they added a little lagniappe. They went around and checked the air in all the tires, then looked under the hood and checked my battery. I had suspected it was a little weak. They didn’t charge me for the extra time they spent.
It made a huge difference in my day (which had started off badly with the flat tire), and in my experience with the shop, that was previously unknown to me. I would go back to them now, and I would definitely refer them to others because of that little extra service they threw in.
At All the Buzz, we always look for ways to add a little lagniappe to our service. We’ll make corrections to a written material you’re using, we’ll send you a referral, or we’ll advise you on ways to use your marketing tools in a way that will generate even more business for you. Each case is different. But the key words here are that we LOOK for ways to add lagniappe to our service.
What is the lagniappe you’re adding to your products, services, or customer service?