In today’s “just enough” world, there is one thing that will have customers falling at your feet: going the extra yard.
Many businesses are “including” less and less for the advertised price – from paying extra to choose your seat on flights to paying 50c for a doggy bag at a restaurant. So when a business does something extra it’s unexpected, and we’re blown away.
The benefits of going the extra mile go without saying. The latest Flying Solo research shows that word-of-mouth from existing clients and returning customers continue to be the most effective ways to generate new business. Repeat business? Check. Word-of-mouth? You bet.
Four years ago, when picking up take-away at a Thai restaurant, I realised I’d forgotten my wallet. “Don’t worry,” said the waitress. “You can just pay next time.”
I went back the next day, paid, gave a nice tip, returned many times, and years later I’m still talking about that restaurant.
How could you go the extra mile?
Could you give back slightly more change on occasion? Or help a customer carry something to their car?
The more unexpected your act of generosity, the more your customer will appreciate it. So do it when you don’t have to.
A few more examples…
- I once saw the owner of a hamburger shop run next door to buy a can of Coke for a customer.
- Give the freshest chicken from the window, not the dried up one you want to get rid of.
- Service providers – round down your time to the nearest half hour (and indicate it on your invoice).
- Mow the lawn as expected, but trim a hedge back or wash down the driveway as a bonus.
- Waive the EFTPOS minimum for heaven’s sake instead of forcing me to buy something else to take me over $10!
Want more articles like this? Check out the customer service section.
Importantly, don’t leave it to chance. Make a list of possible situations where going out of your way for a customer would make an impression, and stick it somewhere you can see it every day.
Think of the possibilities
What if you also made a list for your personal life? You see your neighbour at the corner shop buying bread and milk behind you, add it to your total and – boom – WBN (world’s best neighbour). Your $6.40 investment just bought you a barbecue invite, baby-sitting on your anniversary, and pet-sitting for your next holiday. It’s a small price for a big reward.
How do you go the extra mile for customers?