Customer Service Lessons from Canada — rocking the little things, eh!

Real World Story: From the Eloqui newsletter

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“Canadians really are nice people. We just returned from a book promotion trip to a favorite spot in British canadian-peopleColumbia. We were greeted by cheerful, upbeat professionals who displayed a generosity of spirit that is sorely lacking in current American society.

Specifically:

  • The auto rental rep made sure we wouldn’t be overcharged, so he alerted us to local gas stations along our route back to the airport.
  • When we arrived late, the hotel restaurant let us use their dining area for a picnic dinner. Our young Canadian server not only set up the table, she opened our wine and even heated up the chicken– without a charge.
  • And when Deborah accidentally left her camera at a wine shop, a patron contacted her and offered to drop it by our hotel. “Imagine if this outstanding service and integrity was the norm, rather than the exception everywhere in the world?”

Strategies that Turn it Around:

  1. Exceed expectations. Like the auto rental rep who proactively gave instructions on local gas stations so the customer did not get overcharged. Compare this to the non-active gesture of handing over car keys and just saying, “Your car is out the door and on the left.”
  2. Have flexible policies: Like the restaurant that allowed use of its dining area after hours. And the server who opened the customers’ wine and heated chicken, free of charge! Compare this to just saying, “Oh, sorry, the restaurant closes at 8 pm.”
  3. Create an environment of trust. Like the Canadian patron who felt safe to drop off a camera at a local hotel. Compare this to the standard thinking of “Oh, they’ll call us to get it” or the hotel, when you leave something in the room, waits for YOU to call them. Compare this to others calling you to alert you of a lost item.

Remember: It’s the little things that people remember. It’s the little things that cause people to feel you care about them and their business. It’s the little things that make a huge world of difference.

What do YOU do to focus on the little things? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions.