A while back I was on a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Wanting to make a sundae at the self-serve buffet, I asked one of the buffet stewards if I could have a fresh banana. I had seen bananas at breakfast but none were displayed during lunch. With a big smile, the steward instructed me to wait while he would go and fetch me one. He returned with three bananas, attractively placed on a white ceramic plate, all covered with a stretchy plastic wrap.

Wow! I was impressed!

Expectations were greatly exceeded and an impression was made with little effort but thoughtful thinking. By simply providing two extra bananas and presenting them as described above, the steward made me, his customer, feel special and cared for.

To exceed customer expectations is often easier than one thinks. In many instances, all that’s necessary is an alertness and readiness to do so. As service providers, we can give customers something which is of little monetary value to us but means much to the customer.

Many years ago, I ran an in-home computer technical support business.  I would fix people’s computers and home networks, in their homes. In my repair kit, I carried a bag of Hershey’s chocolate kisses. At the end of the service call, I would leave a chocolate kiss on the client’s keyboard. It was such a small token but was always evidently appreciated by the customers.

chocolate kiss on keyboard

It reminds me of a service-focused bicycle company I recently read about.  When servicing bicycles, they don’t charge the customer for any parts that cost less than a dollar. Own an auto repair shop? How about copying this bicycle repair shop’s giveaway approach? Same principle. Something which doesn’t cost much, is easy to give, yet means much to the customer.

Let’s multiply those bananas… one turns into three.

ACE Tip

Business Owners:

Does your employee training program include simple examples of how your employees can go the extra mile for your customers?

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