You pull the handle...and to your amazement the symbols all match, the machine starts to light up, it makes some noise and you bask in the feeling that you are going to be America’s newest millionaire! You start to plan the trips to New York, Paris, Venice, and even Egypt that you’ve always dreamed of.
Then you start to hear coins dropping into the pan. This confuses you as you thought the casino would pay you with a check. You wonder how many coins it will take to pay out your millions of dollars. After all, you haven’t got all day and you have a lot of life to live…and a lot of money to live it with!
Then you remember that instead of $3.00, you only played $1.00, which means that you aren’t going to win millions. The good news is that you are still going to win a good amount of money; but all that you can think of is the millions of dollars that you could have won if you only put in $2.00 more. You realize the closest you will get to New York, Paris, Venice and Egypt with your winnings, is by taking a walk on the Las Vegas Strip. Only two dollars more, huh? Sigh.
Five minutes or five hours?
From a customer service standpoint, doing a little extra can mean the difference between you spending 5 minutes with a customer or 5 hours dealing with problems later! I recall speaking with a client for quite some time, who was upset at one of our associates because the associate kept talking over her, kept telling her what the “rules” were, and didn’t let her finish what she wanted to say.
I then contacted the associate's manager to discuss the situation, which was logged into a database report that I submitted to the senior management of the company. The manager then had to take the time to speak to the associate of the situation, who then had to explain what happened. The manager then had to let me know what happened and may have needed to explain things to her regional manager as well. Not the best use of anyone’s time is it?
By the way, the upset client had glowing words for another associate who spoke to her after her initial encounter with the employee she complained about. The irate customer said the other associate simply said “I’m so sorry…we have been very busy today…I’m not sure if we can do this, but I will definitely see what I can do. I am sorry.” The second associate’s response so positively impacted the upset customer that she couldn’t stop saying nice things about this person because she felt like he cared enough to listen.
Wouldn’t it have been better for the first associate to do what the second associate ultimately did? The resident would have been happier, the second associate wouldn’t have had to be involved, and everyone would have saved time and energy.
It doesn’t take that much more effort to provide excellent customer service; in fact I believe that it actually takes less effort in the long run to do things right the first time. While it does take a choice to not settle for being just average and to choose to be a champion, the results are worth it. Just ask the winner at Megabucks who played the extra credits!
Author and leadership expert John C. Maxwell puts it best, “Champions achieve things that average people don’t…because champions do things that average people won’t.”
Until next time-thanks for reading!
(This article was originally published in 2005.)