15 Minutes Changed My Worldview

Until this past weekend I never considered whether great customer service really improves your life.

A brochure and a pastry changed all that.

My bride’s credit card for a Kinko’s printing order was charged four times. Her customer service rep was polite, pleasant, and efficient, calling her three times (on her schedule) to ensure her satisfaction.

Okay…that’s nice.

Cut to Edelweiss Bakery, scene of many political discussions with a friend over bear claws and coffee. He recently lost his wife and isn’t doing well. Going to visit, I found myself stuck in traffic and called Edelweiss to explain the situation and arrange a late pickup. With no bear claws left for the day, they promised to prepare an alternative.

Upon my arrival the owner enlightened me that:

  • They’d re-heated the oven to make me four over-sized bear claws;
  • They were sorry I’d have to wait 10 minutes;
  • They wouldn’t take my money.

Prior to that evening I’d never knowingly met owners Gerry & Lynn Lawrie. We’d frequented their Rancho Bernardo bakery because of their amazing quality, great location, and fair pricing. Their selfless act was prompted by their sincere belief that business success is about more than just making money.

Both Edelweiss and Kinko’s had proven the truth of this philosophy. Both had remembered that the customer comes first.

The value of generosity of spirit and quality of service cannot be underestimated. Had Kinko’s tried less…Had Edelweiss not taken the initiative…no one would have thought poorly of either of them.

Instead, both went an extra mile and guaranteed lifetime loyalty from me and my bride.

And in the Lawrie’s case, this was perhaps the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for me.

In these cynical times it’s very easy to get caught up in an attitude that “My business is more important than yours.” Yet with these simple kindnesses and heightened levels of professionalism, these two companies demonstrated their customers are more than numbers in a ledger.

Showing personal feeling and care for your clientele may well help you secure them as customers for life. Your random act of kindness or extra effort when they’re in time of need can go a long way, and is something they’ll surely remember when they’re in buying mode.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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There’s free marketing advice at www.askmrmarketing.com.