Going the Extra Mile Should be Standard, not an Upgrade

There is no Traffic Jam on the Extra Mile

 

We’ve all have experienced many different levels of customer service.  Even without a real definition it’s always easy to recognize when you are receiving better customer service.  We can feel when someone is doing a little more than expected or trying a little harder.  Some people refer to that as going the extra mile.

Roger Staubach, of Dallas Cowboys fame is credited with having his own take on this old adage. He said, “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”  That’s a great metaphor that can be applied to business.  Especially when discussing your customer experience (CX).

 

Your Drive to the Airport Can Give You Amazing Customer Service

 

I travel a lot.  And the road from my house is very well traveled.  For over twenty years I’ve hired the same driver to get me back and forth.  Tommy is an amazing driver.  But that’s not why he’s my choice.

Yes, he does have an immaculately clean car.  And like many others he provides complementary newspapers, soft drinks, candy and more.  As nice as he makes the driving experience, the best part of the customer experience happens three or four days after every ride.

I’ll be opening my mail to find a thank-you note from my driver.  His first note set him apart from every other driver I had ever used.  It’s the hundreds of subsequent notes I have received that convince me that he really does appreciate my business.  He’s retiring this summer and I’ll miss those notes and his card he sends every Christmas.

How many drivers offer you a soda, candy and a newspaper?  How many of them take the time to write a thank-you note or send a holiday card?  I’m betting that very few people reading this have ever had this happen to them.  How would I describe my driver?

Tommy’s extra effort earns him loyal customers who call him whenever they need a driver.  I’m betting he’s on speed dial in hundreds, if not thousands of customers phones.  He’s busy driving his regular clients and spends little time worrying whether his phone will be ringing.

 

If You Can Get Your Kids to Take Their Medicine, it’s Priceless

 

I remember how hard it was years ago to get my kids to take their medicine.  Then we bought a new home and changed pharmacies.  The new pharmacy offered to flavor the kids prescriptions to make them easier to take.  

Our previous pharmacy was focused on their productivity.  They didn’t want to take the extra minute it takes to add flavor while filling the prescription.  They chose not to create a better experience for their customers.

Guess what?  The new pharmacist always offered.  Our kids felt empowered when given the “responsibility” of choosing the flavor.  Although I picked up and paid for many of these prescriptions, I was never involved in the big decision.  Do we want grape, cherry, lemon, etc.

 

Going the Extra Mile Should Never be an Inconvenience

 

When the kids were growing up, we went to Walgreens. I remember our regular pharmacist. He never hesitated to go the extra mile. He knew us by name. When I was there by myself he would ask about my kids and how they were doing. He was always there to help and answer any questions we had. I’m sure he was very busy, but never made us, or any of his customers, feel as if we were an inconvenience.

Maybe that’s a big part of what going the extra mile is about, never making customers feel as if they are an inconvenience

So take the time to do things right. Take the time to do things better. Don’t make your customers feel like an inconvenience. Go the extra mile, where there is far less traffic, and create a better customer experience!

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