“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”  –John Wooden

How often do we get sidetracked by the big things in customer service that we forget to pay attention to the little things?  It is certainly important to hear and respond to what our customers contact us for assistance with, but it is also important to personalize their experiences by noticing any additional areas they might appreciate support in.

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Image credit: Rama

Image credit: Rama

Karoline called in to the company she had ordered her watch from.  It had stopped running, so she wanted information on changing the battery to ensure she purchased the right type of replacement.  Rather than simply relaying what size of battery to purchase, the representative she spoke to asked her if she had an immediate need for the battery or if she would like him to send one out free of charge.  Delighted, Karoline accepted the offer of a free replacement battery.  “But what really made me feel like the representative cared about making things as easy as possible for me was when I saw an email from him.  After getting off the phone with me, he had looked up local shops that perform battery replacements and gave me a list, starting with the one closest to my house, so that I could have a pro install it and maintain the water resistance of my watch.  He saved me the time of doing that myself and it showed the company cared about me even though my purchase had been made long before.  Why else would he bother with a customer after I hung up?”

Gerald has a chronic illness.  He’s used to dealing with various healthcare professionals, insurance companies, and pharmacists.  He’s used to getting surprise bills and frequent denials.  Imagine his surprise when he recently spoke with a representative from a pharmacy he only dealt with by phone.  She had called to relay the fact that his insurance had denied coverage for a particular drug his doctor had suggested he try.  But rather than stopping at that point, she offered to do more.  “The lady that called told me about the denial, but then she told me that there were steps she could take, forms she could file on my behalf after reaching out to my doctor that may help reverse the denial.  I’ve had a lot of prescriptions over the years and a lot of denials, but I’ve never had someone from a pharmacy proactively offer to make more work for herself to make things less expensive for me….  That was so unexpected.”

Both of the representatives in the above cases found ways to fulfill needs beyond the obvious ones the customers were expecting to be met.  In doing so, both customers noted similar feelings of being valued or cared about.  When we think about our customers outside of the single dimension of their stated problem or need, we can quickly begin to see small opportunities to personalize their experiences in unexpected ways.  Our willingness to take the extra time and effort to do this is exactly the type of thing that will solidify us as purveyors of exceptional customer service.