By Matthew Spooner
"If you want people to remember you, and to appreciate what you do, the MOST potent Actually Things are very, very small."
When was the last time you remember receiving service you enjoyed?
It was something big, or something small, that made the Difference in you remembering the service? ACCORDING to British ad man Rory Sutherland, Often it's the little Inexpensive Things that people remember.
So what are some of these small things that leave a deep impression on us?
I decided to ask my friend Jacky who is head of sales at his company. He told me how when he flew Qatar Airlines from Shanghai to Doha he remembered the little care kit full the stewardess gave passengers. Complete with a toothbrush, socks and eyeshades, the care kit was, as Jacky remarked, "a little effort on the airlines part, but I felt much better than when I flew other airlines."
Jacky's Response got me thinking: What had I had of Similar Experiences Such considerate service?
Anticipate, a future need
When customers buy something that includes an external component that's integral to its use or makes it more user-friendly, do you ask if they have that thing or if they still have enough of it left? Or do you assume that they should have that component ?
Going back to my friend Jacky's example, the airline company could have simply assumed their paying passengers had brought their toothbrush on board already. Why bother to supply one?
And why bother provide eyeshades? Can't the passengers simply close the window shutter and turn off their light before sleeping? And really ... socks?
Get your customer to remember you time and time again
Well, it left an impression on my friend Jacky. More importantly, after that Qatar Airlines flight he took that care kit with him. He continued to use all three provided items for a while afterwards. The one that he used for the longest time were the eyeshades. He admitted he often thought back to that Qatar airline flight when he would use the eyeshades when taking other airlines and sleeping in hotels.
Reach out to your greatest resources for inspiration
Feel like you've hit a roadblock on how to add value to your customers?
- Ask 5 people you know from different areas of your life to share their experiences of service they remember, and what details made the difference.
- Reflect on the 3 most memorable experiences you have in receiving quality customer service. Identify what details you remember most about the experiences and how you felt when receiving that service.
- Conduct a customer survey to hear directly from your customers how they feel about your service.
Often it's the meaningful, fun, and unexpected experiences that influence the way customers perceive you and feel about you. Little details are so easy to overlook, so tempting to brush off as unimportant. But by adding a number of seemingly minor details together, and you end up with something of far more value than you would without them.
Co-founder and Managing Director, Crescendo Communications Consulting