That Little Extra
Several years ago while working as a sales manager for a major financial services organization, part of my duties was to travel from my city of Lubbock Texas to Wichita Falls Texas. For those who are familiar with the area you can identify when I say it is 215 miles of interesting travel. In other words, there is not much between here and there. In preparing for this trip, I had a very specific routine which consisted of selecting a fast food establishment and pulling through the drive up and ordering a cup of coffee. I would place my order for a large coffee and the attendant would ask if I wanted cream. I replied that I did and then next question I was asked was how many. I said two and was then instructed to pull forward. I handed the attendant my $1.39 and in exchange I received a large coffee with a lid. Sitting nicely on the lid were two small containers of cream. I pulled out of the drive through and being in a hurry to get out of town, I attempted to pour the cream in the coffee while driving. You know what happened…coffee went everywhere including my light gray suit pants. I did not have time to change pants so when I arrived in Wichita Falls, my entire day went as follow: “Hello, my name is Tim Tivis, please excuse my suit pants!”
The following month when it was time to go to Wichita Falls, I selected a different fast food establishment; same routine. I ordered a large coffee and was asked if I wanted cream. I said yes, the attendant asked how many and I replied two. I pulled to the window, paid my $1.39 only this time I was handed a coffee cup but no cream. You know what I asked, “Where’s the cream?” Guess what I heard? “It’s in the coffee”. WOW! Now the world did not stop spinning just because someone took ten seconds to add that little extra, but you can imagine where I went from that day on to get my coffee.
Adding that little extra can earn incredible dividends for your business if practiced consistently. The key is consistency. I understand that sometimes you may not be afforded the time to provide that little extra. Customers may be lined up out in the street and it takes all you can do to service them. Take heart, the key to that little extra is the consistent effort and commitment to providing it. I submit to you that you will have greater customer satisfaction if they perceive your efforts in providing that little extra rather than not attempting it at all.
So the next time you are interacting with your valuable customer or client remember what that little extra says. Take the time to do more than expected. Make sure the coffee is nice and hot and above all else don’t forget the cream! TRAIN UP!