As a consumer, I need some markers to decide whether I’m going to enter a certain shop or not. To begin with, I look for a place that’s clean and welcoming. If it’s a restaurant with a sign out front and daily specials, I choose a place that has new specials every day.
Once inside, I am also looking for markers to see whether the place really cares about their customers. Sure, smiles matter and if it’s a restaurant, the food matters too. But I am always looking for a shorthand way to see whether I will come back again or not.
Maybe it’s all the time I spent as a consultant, but I pay attention to the small things. They often tell the whole story.
In my sports club, I am continually impressed by how the instructors go out of their way to help the clients. You never see them talking only to each other as in my last gym. They are there to help the clients and they do.
When I had trouble putting on my heavy boots for my swim conditioning class, the instructor helped me put them on and even tied them up for me. That’s service.
I try to emulate this level of service in the gallery and in my business as a conference speaker. It’s not enough to sell a painting. We give advice on where to hang it. We give the client information about the artist. We pack and ship very carefully with brand new bubble wrap and check with the customer to make sure it arrived safely. That’s one of the ways we build client loyalty
As a conference speaker, I always stay for lunch or dinner. Some clients are surprised but that’s how I can provide extra value. If the meal is before I talk, it’s a chance for me to find out what’s on peoples minds that will supplement what I already now. If it’s after I talk, it’s a time when I can answer questions and also see whether my words had an impact. One client told me today how glad she was when I stayed for lunch. It showed that I really cared about the client organization
Just today when I was looking for a place for lunch, I walked out of a shop that had a big sign above the cash register that said Closed For Golden Week. Golden Week was last week? Time to take the sign down!!
It may seem like a small thing, but this lack of attention to the small things made me wonder whether they would pay attention to the big things.
It’s so easy to focus on the big things-the sales, the food, the ad campaign. But if you don’t pay attention to the small things, you may find that your customers go somewhere else.
They might not even know why they leave you and you might not even notice. Unless you notice the small things.