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Customer Service: The Extra Mile Counts

For a lot of reasons, going the extra mile for your customers is a good idea.Extra Mile

Many small business owners spend good time and money parsing analytics and pursing strategic marketing angles. All good ideas. But once your customer walks in the door, that point of contact makes all the difference.

The good, the bad, and the ugly

When I work with small business owners, we build a strong business plan, and plot smart marketing moves to deliver an unbeatable offer. Despite the best laid plans, though, when it comes to closing the deal, the point of sale can sometimes go very wrong.


I talked in an earlier blog about an experience I had with a marketing vendor. I had to delay initiating a campaign, but got back to them a week or so down the line to restart my account. Nothing could convince their service rep to open my account and move forward. When I delayed, they cancelled. Needless to say, my business—and good opinion—went elsewhere.


I am sure you, and people you know, have a hundred unbelievable stories about poor customer service. Like they say, a happy customer tells one person, an unhappy customer…posts it on the Internet and tells everyone.


So we all know what poor customer service is, and the real and intangible damage it does to your business and reputation. Now let’s talk about the extra mile.


Customer service—your chance to add real value


Small business owners who attend our live events hear me talk about value all the time. When you provide premium service, you can charge premium prices. When you are charging more for your services—and providing higher value—you get the loyal clients you want and the higher income you need.


So let’s talk about that extra mile and how you get there.


Everyone knows what the extra mile feels like. It is when a business, or a teacher—or someone on the street—takes a minute to make your life a little easier. Anonymous good will is a great thing. In a business setting, good will not only builds your brand and reputation, it makes you money.


Here are my top tips for providing more value through the extra mile:


  • Friendliness counts: On your sales floor, on the phone, at the counter—friendliness matters. A smile and patience mean everything—and a satisfied customer is a repeat customer.
  • Make sure your product meets the needs of your client: Sometimes just listening to your customer is what it takes to earn their good opinion. Instead of rushing to your options, listen to their problems. Understanding the needs and wants of a customer helps you form the offer you need to make. Some clients want a price cut, some need extra service, or timing is an issue. Going the extra mile to listen gives you a chance to make the unbeatable offer.
  • Customer tracking: Personal service and marketing automation make it easy to know your customer. It is rare when a customer is not impressed that you remembered their name, or a previous purchase. Tracking personal metrics and using the right technology gives you the opportunity to personalize your service beyond the sale of one product. Remember their business, their birthday, the project they talked about. Send a note, or an automatic gift, and create an easy, trusted business acquaintance who will remember you when they need your services again.
  • Employee attitude and training: As your front line, employees and your sales force are the face of your business. Be sure your staff is well-trained and engaged in the goals of your business. Consistency is a big reason customers return time and again.
  • Problems: A mistake or a problem can be a cloud with a silver lining. It is easy to be friendly and smile when everything is going right—it takes more skill when a mistake is made. When the going gets tough—make sure your staff goes beyond the call of duty to make it right. If the problem is handled well, the chances are good your customer will tell others about the great service.
  • The extraordinary ordinary: Most of the time life is not dramatic, and each day passes. When a client comes into your shop, or your office, make an ordinary business transaction extraordinary by remembering names, offering value—or offering to solve their problem in a way that will not bring you profit, at least not right now. Listen and find a way to meet those needs, and stretch your service to be what they need right now. Few customers fail to recognize what is, truly, the extra mile.


Everyone likes to read stories about businesses that do right by their customers. It starts at the top. As a small business owner, add value and build success by going the extra mile for your clients.

When you have questions about personalized client development and marketing automation, call me at 585-633-7563.

To your success.

Bob Britton

About the Author Bob Britton

Bob Britton is an accomplished entrepreneur with ​25 year’s experience ​starting, building and growing both brick-and-mortar companies as well as online businesses. ​He's personally built 3 companies from one man shows to the million dollar mark. Marketing Automation Group and the Automated Entrepreneur Method​® are his latest brainchild. After working with hundreds of business owners in every walk of business, he realized there was a HUGE gap in the support and training that was available, and set out to fill that void with his no-nonsense, hype free approach to business growth.

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