Monday, September 10, 2012

Give a Little Extra

it's such a pleasant surprise when a person or business delivers more than you expected or even asked for. in business, and in life, going above and beyond can do a lot for your reputation, win you a lot of new customers, and put some needed smiles on all of our faces.

the nice man who serves up my lunch some days at the deli near my building heard me mention that i like tortilla strips in my soup. after a few visits, he began to prepare me a small to-go container of tortilla strips for my soup without me even asking. now there are better places in town to get soup, some are even within walking distance, but you better believe i'll be visiting my over-delivering buddy with the tortilla strips when hunger strikes. 

the bakery that opens their doors at 7:56am instead of 8:00 because someone is standing outside. the local dry cleaner who tirelessly remembers the names of his frequent guests. the dressing room attendant who brings you a shirt on sale that matches the pants you're trying on. 

mcdonalds is a good example of this (although i'm not an advocate of the chain), but what do you think helped them sell millions and millions of happy meals? we all know that it isn't the quality of the meat that kids get excited over. it was the toy that came along with it. the "happy" in a happy meal was a result of the something extra and unexpected, which probably didn't cost mcdonalds more than a few pennies, but helped them sell millions of burgers.

i read about virgin america going above and beyond in their airline service. they flew 15 chihuahuas from san francisco to new york city to find new homes. they didn't stick the puppies in the cargo bin though, the flew them in the main cabin. a completely unnecessary but thoughtful thing for them to do. 

the 'little extras' do not have to be big, costly, or newsworthy. in fact they rarely are. just a little something that differentiates you from the rest of the pack. don't just send over that powerpoint presentation your boss asked for. pay particular attention to the layout, format, and include the company colors. answer your phone calls with a smile on your face. do a little digging and tell your customers something interesting they didn't know about the place where they're choosing to take their business. 

whoever is crossing your path, be determined to delight them. as my friend nicholas bate would say, "don't just be good, be excellent."

go be generous with your tortilla strips today.

Lexi from