Independent Thinking Blog

Wowing Customers with the Little Things You Do

My gym now has wifi.

This means I can stream the Foo Fighters one day and Renee Fleming the next, and that I’m no longer limited to whatever playlists are currently downloaded onto my phone. (I can also monitor my e-mail, which says something about boundaries, but that’s a topic for another post). It’s such a small thing, but I love the ability to find the right tunes for that day’s workout.

It’s the little things that resonate with customers.

While I was running on the track, I was pounding an imaginary drum with my hands and making mental notes in my head for my next blog post. And thinking about how much I loved the wifi and how little things can make a big difference. And how Thursday is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., which was about the blessing of the harvest long before it became a day of football, pies, and early holiday sales. And–

Eureka! The stream of little things spawned this blog post about little things.

Return calls and answer e-mail.

Phone, Question: How Can I Help You?

I try to take calls and return calls and answer e-mail because it’s the right thing to do and because it takes only 1-2 minutes of my time not to be part of the black hole. Plus it’s a small world and you never know what ripple effect your decision today might have tomorrow.

For example, once upon a time a prospective client, whose company turned out to be in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings, returned my phone call. Although she didn’t need my services, she returned the call anyway, talked with me for a few minutes, and wished me luck in my business. I made a note on my index card. A few years later my mom ended up serving on a board with the woman (and I said, “she’s the one who called me back!”) and they became friends. And eventually this woman recommended me to a colleague who became a client.

Write a personal note.

He doesn’t know it, but Eddie Brown’s card is sitting on my desk. Brown, a PR pro in New Orleans, learned on a #solopr Twitter chat that my business was turning 25 this year and sent me a handwritten note to say congrats. I don’t have clients in his region, but who do you think is top of mind if I need public relations support there?

Use design to turn a transaction into something memorable.

Potbelly Movie-Ticket Style Coupons

Potbelly sent me coupons for free sandwiches to make up for an order that one of its stores messed up. While I was expecting a gift card, what I received instead were two movie-ticket style coupons (and a handwritten note). Again, the little things.

We talk a lot about wowing customers, clients, members, and/or prospects. What we too often forget as we’re struggling to identify the grand gesture is that it’s often the little things that matter most. What little thing are you doing to wow your audience today?

Feature image by Universal Pops (Flickr).

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