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More Customers - Watch those Little Things

By Martin Haworth
Posted Thursday, February 10, 2005

Two situations, two perfectly acceptable experiences, but in one case, an excitement about great service and in the other case, just OK.

The Laptop

I have a laptop which is under warranty - 5 working day turnaround they said when I rang them about a power problem. Efficient and effective they were too.

So someone came to collect it the next day and, as they said, I got a call 5 working days later to say it would be delivered back, by courier, the next day. And by 10.32 am, it was. I enquired on the second call what had been found to be wrong, but the person on the other end didn't know, "There will be an engineers report in the box". And there was.

The Restaurant

My wife went out for a meal with 14 others from her place of work. A nice little restaurant, privately owned. The meal was all home made, with one or two little touches that were a bit special. Being a works 'do' they were a little boisterous and the staff in the restaurant took good part and joined in the fun as well. They were made to feel very welcome indeed, from the minute their coats were taken, to closing the door behind them.

At one point, someone tasted one of the sauces and commented on how nice it was and was given a pot, neatly wrapped, to take home. "Drop the pot back in anytime", the waitress said. When someone said they fancied something not on the menu, the chef came out and with a little banter, 10 minutes later had made one up specially.

Wine was in the costings and even though they had managed to get through a couple of bottles (and more!), the wine kept flowing to the end of the meal. The chef came out to wish them well at the end and thank them for coming.

Two examples of perfectly acceptable service. One experience adequate and one memorable. I wonder which one will be recommended to others?

It doesn't take much to make your customers or clients feel special. It takes forethought and focus. Especially when we work remotely and don't have the opportunity to meet with our customers and clients face-to-face.

Customer service is an art, not a science. It is about building relationships which last and, ultimately, your customers will do the marketing for you. And you will profit.

As sales people we need to deliver that 'extra mile' service Then we will reap the rewards. And not dissolve into nameless and faceless experiences which are just 'OK'. OK won't do any more.

As Walt Disney said:-

"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends."

About the Author
Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, (http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com/customer_service.html). Martin also has an blog where other business, management and customer 'observations' appear (almost) daily! You can find that on the website.