Going the Extra Smile

by Dan Ward

From the customer service files:

This weekend, my eldest daughter celebrated a birthday. I was running some errands with her and decided to stop for a quick bite at our neighborhood Subway®, and was treated to great customer service from an employee who was clearly empowered to go the “extra smile.”  Here’s an abridged version of the conversation:

“Oh, it’s your birthday?  Well, happy birthday!  You get a free cookie.”

“And you’re a redhead, too.  I love redheads.  You get an extra cookie just for that.”

“You chose double chocolate chip?  That’s my favorite cookie, too!  I need to give you an extra one.”

“Wait a second, you and I have the same name, and we spell it the same way?  Well, I just have to give you another cookie, then.”

By the time we reached the cash register, my little 9-year-old was grinning from ear-to-ear, and talking about how this was already the Best. Birthday. Ever.

It’s easy to give customers what they expect, and do it with a smile. Providing the unexpected and going the extra mile sometimes requires a little investment – a couple of extra account hours, a plane ticket to attend an important meeting, or in this case, a few extra cookies.  You can bet this customer will remember his experience, and that small investment will result in return business.

What can you do today to go that extra mile and keep your customers coming back for more?

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