May I have your attention, please?


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As a paying customer, how do you feel when details are overlooked or ignored? I once ordered a milkshake for my young son that was delivered to our table without a straw. After placing the milkshake (in a Styrofoam container with a lid) on the table in front of my son, the server asked, “Can I get you anything else?”

More recently, I experienced a couple of different situations where service providers failed to pay attention to detail:

The dealership where I have my car serviced strives for a rating of “completely satisfied” on its customer satisfaction survey. And they’re pretty assertive about asking customers to give them the highest rating on the survey when it arrives in the mail. During my latest service appointment, I spent $253 on a new car battery. It wasn’t until I pulled out of the parking lot that I realized the mechanic neglected to reset my clock and programmable radio stations – which had been cleared during the battery installation.

It’s a little thing, but little things mean everything. Although the mechanic performed the new battery installation flawlessly, because he overlooked the details of reprogramming my clock and radio stations, I was unable to rate my satisfaction with the service appointment as “completely satisfied.”

In a second incident, I hired a handyman service to perform a series of minor repairs in our new home. One of those repairs was to reinforce a loose towel rack in my son’s bathroom. About a week after the repairs were completed, I was in Cooper’s bathroom and noticed that the towel rack was loose. Upon further inspection, I realized that all the handyman did was tighten the existing screws into the drywall – without using drywall anchors. He must have known that it was only a matter of time before the towel rack came loose.

The difference between ordinary (tightening the existing screws) and extraordinary (taking the initiative to install a set of drywall anchors to reinforce the screws) is that little “extra.” Although I was satisfied with every other repair on the handyman’s punch list, because of his shoddy work on the towel rack, my impression of the company has been tainted – along with my enthusiasm to repurchase or recommend.

When you pay attention to detail, you pay attention to customers. And when you pay attention to customers, they will reward you with higher customer satisfaction ratings, repeat business, and referrals.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve Curtin
Steve Curtin is the author of Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary. He wrote the book to address the following observation: While employees consistently execute mandatory job functions for which they are paid, they inconsistently demonstrate voluntary customer service behaviors for which there is little or no additional cost to their employers. After a 20-year career with Marriott International, Steve now devotes his time to speaking, consulting, and writing on the topic of extraordinary customer service.


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