Being Really Good

customer bestWe needed a large bear proof crate that would hold a garbage can at our river home in the North Georgia mountains.  Black bears are not particularly dangerous, unless protecting a cub, they are just always hungry.  And, in the Spring and Summer they roam the river bank at night behind our house in search of garbage cans with an inviting aroma!  Despite the fact that we chained the large can to the wall, they still crushed it in order to forage for any tasty contents, leaving our yard littered with garbage.

We called Bill Lorraine.  Bill is a master carpenter who had added a sunroom on the river side of our house.  When a neighbor came over to inspect the finished national park style crate he commented, “This is one serious crate.  Why, even an elephant could not have his way with it.  But, why Bill for a project like this?”  Our answer was the title of this post—“Bill’s really good.”  The question reminded me of a quote by one of my favorite comedians.

“When people ask me how do you make it in show business,” says famed actor and comedian Steve Martin,  “what I always tell them — and nobody ever takes note of it ‘cuz it’s not the answer they wanted to hear.  What they want to hear is here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script, here’s how you do this — But I always say:  Be so good they can’t ignore you.  If somebody’s thinking, ‘How can I be really good?’, people are going to come to you.  It’s much easier doing it that way than going to cocktail parties.”

Innovative service is all about being really good.  It means customers experiencing you pushing it to the top.  The pursuit of excellence says to customers, “You are so important to me that you get my absolute very best.”  “Being really good” includes service with an attitude—an unmistakable disposition of joy and confidence.  It includes paying attention to the details that, improperly maintained and managed, can spell mediocrity to customers.  It means staying on top of the subtle signals of the customer experience that might disappoint.  It involves thinking beyond your customers’ needs to their unspoken aspirations.  And, it encompasses ensuring customers witness internal service—colleague to colleague—that matches the same standard of distinction.

report cardIf your customers gave your service a letter grade, what grade would you get?  What steps can you take to make “All A’s” on your next customer report card?  Give to your customers the best that you have, and their best will come back to you.

Photo Credit: Flickr via marsmet tallahassee

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