It’s the Little Things


Share on LinkedIn

I mentioned a few weeks ago about Terry O’Reilly (@terryoinfluence) and his radio show on CBC called ‘Under the Influence.’ This past week’s episode was entitled ‘It’s the Little Things‘ and it talked about the small things companies do to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Customers notice which helps endear them to the brand which, in turn, leads to increased loyalty and repeat sales.

I couldn’t agree more.

I used to moderate a lot of focus groups and many of the sessions dealt with the sales and service experience. I was constantly amazed how customers would cite ‘the little things’ that so impressed them. And they told everybody about it

1. It was the woman taking her car in for service who was missing a gas cap and was utterly amazed when the service advisor took it upon himself to replace it without asking – free of charge.

2. It was the man who upon picking up his car after service being told that it would be another 20 minutes, but being given a $5 gift certificate to the sandwich place across the street so he could grab a bite while they finished up the repair.

3. There was the guy who was driven home by the service manager after dropping off his car since the courtesy shuttle had stopped running for the night.

4. The woman who told the story of how the dealership had a bouquet of flowers delivered to her office after she bought a car, and how she felt walking back through all of the cubicles to her desk with people asking ‘where did those come from?’

5. There was the man who upon picking up his new car, had his picture taken with his wife, his young daughter, and the entire sales team from the dealership. However, the salespeople were stacked up upon one another in a 3 high pyramid as if they were the cheerleading squad at the local football game. He still has the picture.

In each of these instances, the customer couldn’t wait to tell people about it. As dealerships and brands, isn’t that what we want?

Yes, processes need to be in place at the dealership to ensure things get done in an efficient and effective matter. But after 25+ years in this business the more I believe it’s ‘the little things’ that can differentiate an experience for a customer – and we need to do more of that.

Until next week.


PS For those who are interested, I have to give a talk at the ESOMAR Automotive Research Forum on May 23 & 24th in Wolfsburg, Germany. The event is sold out but I understand that live streaming is available. Looks like a very interesting program. Here’s the link if you want to check it out.



Republished with author's permission from original post.

Chris Travell
Chris Travell is VP, Strategic Consulting for the Automotive Group of Maritz Research. He is responsible for working with Maritz' Insight Teams to further the understanding and application of the firm's automotive research. He has appeared on numerous television programs and is often quoted in Automotive News, Time, USA Today, Edmunds, Detroit Free Press, The Globe and Mail and various other publications in regard to issues related to the North American automotive industry. He is the principal contributor to The Ride Blog, Maritz Research's automotive blog.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here