I have been blessed to have sat under some “outside the box” thinkers over the past few years. I’m always asking them questions, Why did you buy that? Why use that company? Why do it that way? I still would have learned from them if I just went with the flow, but I learned so much more by being a part of the process. There are so many decisions made or things overlooked that seem small but have a huge impact overall.
While on staff at Fellowship Memphis one of our teaching pastors Dr. John Bryson would randomly send the residents e-mails with interesting blogs or articles. I kept all of them, for times such as this. JB sent us the post below and said:
Then Read it again
Then Read it again
Then print it and put it somewhere and read it often”
He said to learn to dominate “the little things”, Spend time thinking it through, always over-deliver, Don’t wait for someone else to do it…execute, don’t be so cheap or last minute, and “you will multiply your effectiveness and influence 100 fold”…wise man that John Bryson and Tom Peters
100 Ways to Succeed #84
If The Envelope Doesn’t Fit, Forget It!
(So Check on the Envelopes.)
My local Starbucks stayed open a few minutes late—and fetched something already put away—to fill my order.
When I handed my other local Starbucks my thermos yesterday morning, they filled it up without question, even though that’s a non-standard order. (I think they under-charged me—a two ventis price for what doubtless was three ventis in quantity. Oh, and they thoroughly washed the thermos before filling it without request.)
My local Whole Foods opens at 8:00 a.m. Several of us were waiting. They opened at about 7:45. And those folks define helpful—I got a full-bore dissertation on various cuts of beef, among other things.
Stanford sent me a questionnaire in prep for my MBA reunion. (# ???) I took some pains to fill it out. When I got ready to mail it, I discovered that it didn’t fit into the envelope they’d enclosed—I tore the questionnaire up and tossed it in the recycle bin. (Ever wonder what’s wrong with MBA programs? Lack of attention to misfitting envelopes! Think I’m kidding?)
Do you bend over backwards to go “beyond the book” to help customers? Do you open earlier than advertised? Are your envelopes the right size?
The 25 companies that made BusinessWeek’s first “Customer Service Champs” list are very, very, very, very, very serious about the “little things.”
How do you know?
What are you doing about it?
“Big aims” (I believe in them religiously!) are plain silliness without the “little” things executed to perfection—and constantly beyond the “best practices” you designed yourself.
“Little things”—I love the word “fanatic.”
(“Big” keys to “little” things: great hiring practices emphasizing “soft” factors, great and extensive and enjoyable training, fun, celebrations, routinely using words like “Wow,” managers who are out and about, etc., etc.)