Would you invest a dollar in your business to make four thousand?

Small-but-important Details in the Customer Experience

moving-truckUntil recently, my wife and I had been housing much of my best friend’s furniture for the previous three years (long story). One Saturday morning, a moving company spent two hours removing all the large pieces from our home. The three movers were great. They showed up on time and worked hard. They were polite and did a careful job.

What could they have done better? At first glance … nothing. It was an A+ experience. We were satisfied, but were we raving fans? It’s hard to say.

 

A Not-so-obvious Opportunity

Mr Clean Magic EraserOver the next couple of days (but not for more than 10 cumulative minutes), I found myself scrubbing scuff marks off our walls with an amazing product, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

To be clear, I’m not faulting that great crew. No matter how carefully you — or others — move your furniture, scuff marks on the drywall in your hallways and stairwells are simply par for the course.

 

Imagine this, though:

Imagine you hired movers for your home or office…

What if the team, after completing their work, returned with those Magic Erasers and spent the next 10 to 15 minutes scrubbing your walls? How might that make you feel? Would you be likely to refer this firm to others? Might you share your (quick) story on Facebook and Twitter?

The average household move is around $12,000*. But you can sometimes find a bargain crew for around $4,000. Magic Erasers run about $1 apiece (Okay, so we get ours from Costco). If you owned a moving company, would you be willing to invest an extra 15 minutes and $1 per job to provide a service that would surely spark at least an occasional referral or repeat customer?

Heck, if I owned the company, I’d have my crew clean the walls (without the meter running) and leave any unused Magic Erasers behind. They could tell the client: “We just cleaned up the marks we made on your walls, and we’re happy to leave the rest of the Magic Erasers with you.” WOW, right?

Want to kick it up a notch? Leave behind another pack of Magic Erasers for the new residents with a handwritten note on company stationery.

 

You probably don’t own a moving company…

…but I hope you can draw a parallel between this example and your own business. Think about the little things that make up your customers’ experiences — and how you can make them better; more thoughtful; more memorable. Restaurateurs might have servers carry stain-removing pens. Dry cleaners could find and replace broken buttons. Bankers could give pens away instead of chaining them to the counter. Are you running another type of business? Let’s see how creative you can get (or have been). Leave your comments below…

A Question You May Want to Begin Asking…

I don’t believe in lengthy customer surveys, but I did realize years ago there’s an important question we aren’t asking people:

“Was there a small — but important — detail of your experience with us that cast our company in a positive or negative light?”

The question is powerful. It forces your customers to think deeply about their experience with you. In the process, they may recall something tucked away in their subconscious that colored their perception of you and your company. This one little thing could make or break the relationship.

At worst, this “little thing” might lead to negative word-of-mouth and certainly prevent them from returning … never mind referring others. At best, it can turn them into a raving fan who sings your praises and tells their story to others.

 

Having trouble with this challenge?

If you’re having trouble getting creative (or even recalling something you’ve done in the past in order to create raving fans), you’re not alone. Give me a call and let’s discuss how I might be of support, perhaps in a consulting or group training capacity.

*Source: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/08/01/8-ways-to-trim-moving-costs

Trackbacks

  1. […] If you cannot find great role models in your own industry, you may want to take a look outside, at other industries. Some of your best customer service practices could be inspired in unlikely places; by unlikely companies. […]

  2. […] Let your customers catch you doing something that is obviously engineered to benefit them. (Click for example) […]

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