We’ve all heard this expression, but I was reminded recently how important this adage is by an experience I had when I was a young Account Executive with one of Canada’s largest advertising agencies.
A large international client from Boston was in Toronto for a day of meetings and I was responsible for making sure that lunch was available.
In a trip to their office months earlier, the client had mentioned that he disliked chicken with bones — he preferred chicken breast and remarked that he always purchased boneless breast for his barbecue. The single exception was St-Hubert Bar-B-Q Chicken with dipping sauce which he had discovered on a trip to Montreal. He was so enamoured by their dipping sauce that he wished it was available in Boston where he would gladly picked it off the bones.
Based on this personal insight I ordered St-Hubert chicken for our lunch.
My agency President was aghast.
We were effectively serving a large international client a fast food meal rather than a traditional catered meal. He felt that we had lost an opportunity to impress this important client with our hospitality and even feared that we would be perceived as second rate versus our international cousins.
He quietly took me aside to give me some “constructive” feedback.
Fortunately, the client overhead his whispered comments.
The client indicated that he was thrilled that I had taken the time to arrange this special lunch for him and proceeded to sing my praises for remembering this small fact that he had shared with me months earlier.
He continued that this was a further demonstration of the care and attention that I applied to every aspect of his business and went so far as to state that he saw no need to replace the recently departed Account Supervisor on his business — voicing his confidence that I was ready to step into this role (a promotion that was wisely swift in coming after the meeting ).
My Perspective: Paying attention to our clients specific needs/desires allow us to tailor our products/service to their needs and build trust and confidence.
The client felt more important by the personalization of the meal choice than he would have ever felt regardless of the expense of a generic meal that may have been served to any client.
What might have been disaster for another client was pure magic for him. Are you looking for the opportunities to create a moment of magic for your clients — or just providing the same generic service o everyone?
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