I was blown away recently when I was listening to Terry O’Reilly’s podcast “Under the Influence”. While his topics have always been unique, inspiring and motivating, it was the one about “the little things” that really hit home. Why? Because most of us are always in pursuit of the home run, and it’s exactly that pursuit that blinds us to the small and very obvious stuff that can really make a difference.
Those small ideas are often simply approaches to customer service and caring for your customers/clients that cost so little and usually mean so much. Not long ago I was listening to a client that owns a professional practice who was proudly declaring that he charges for every minute because he is all about billable hours. He could not bear to think about giving away any free time and was criticizing a colleague that had offered some free time to a prospective client. That laser focus on “charging as much as I can” is obviously in sharp contrast to the philosophy that Terry was explaining in his podcast.
So, who is right? I suppose it depends very much on your own independent perspective. In my humble opinion, the pursuit of the payment (whether it be a larger profit, or the billable hour, or the additional sale) will always lead to a short term gain if it does not come along with the desire to deliver an outstanding WOW experience. It is that WOW experience that will lead to people talking about you and we know that word of mouth is the strongest form of advertising. Simply maximizing the transaction value for yourself without the WOW focus will not cut it.
In a previous blog article (Why do customers leave you?) I highlighted research that noted that 68% of customers leave “for no special reason”. In reality, there is always a reason, and most of it will revolve around the fact that Customer Satisfaction is no longer sufficient in order to retain customers or clients. It is also not sufficient for referrals, nor is it sufficient for the new world reality of finding ways for getting customer experiences to be shared virally. Simply doing the job is no longer enough, even if you do it well. So why get transfixed on just doing the job and simply getting paid for it? You need to provide something more than that if you desire a better reaction from your customer – after all, they are probably seeing other people experience that higher level of satisfaction (or Delight) so why should they not desire it as well? It does not matter what product or service you sell – the customer or client experience still needs to be outstanding, not just alright.
Terry’s perspective is well worth a listen to – so sit back and take in his unique style of delivery and storytelling as he reflects on the smaller things that can make such a big difference:
Neville Pokroy is a principal of Mastermind Solutions Inc., a Toronto-based consulting firm, and leads the marketing practice. He has more than 30 years of experience in corporate marketing and consulting in entrepreneurial businesses across an extensive range of industries. His focus is on helping companies with a vision to achieve business growth. He can be reached at (905)886-2235 or email@example.com
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