The devil is in the details.
And by “devil,” I mean “electrical outlets.”
Because, in the past week, not one, but TWO different electrical outlets made a rather large impression on me.
One good. One not so good.
First, the positive.
On Saturday, my family and I had lunch at our local Buffalo Wild Wings. The hostess led us to one of the many new booths that had been added during the recent renovation.
That’s when I saw it.
Every new booth had its own electrical outlet that accommodated two AC plugs and two USB ports.
Pretty, ain’t it?
Most restaurants are in business to serve food and drink. But Buffalo Wild Wings goes a step further and serves their customers’ needs. After all, how often does your phone or laptop needed a boost of juice come meal time?
Customer service is more than employee handbooks and delivering a quality product. It’s anticipating and meeting the felt need of your customer. And, now more than ever, that felt need includes a place to plug in and recharge.
How can you anticipate the needs of your customers? Ask your employees to write down the top three most common questions they get asked day in and day out. That would be a good place to start.
Now, the negative.
We are selling our home. So we’ve been touring homes that are on the market. Last week, my wife and I walked through a brand new house that matched our criteria. It had everything going for it. Great curb appeal, awesome floor plan, a nice location…
That’s when I saw it.
Standing in the great room, I noticed that every electrical outlet on every wall was crooked.
Not just slightly crooked either. Crooked crooked.
So I backtracked and walked through the other rooms.
Sure enough. Every outlet. Crooked.
Donald Burr, former CEO of People Express Airlines, once wrote,
In the airline industry, if passengers see coffee stains on the food tray, they assume the engine maintenance isn’t done right.
In the same way, when I see crooked outlets in a brand new house, I assume other parts of the house were built crooked, too.
In the span of 42 seconds, my attitude shifted from ready to make an offer to ready to make tracks.
Your customers notice the little things. So if they see something that’s not quite right, they will make assumptions about the quality of your work.
Perception is reality.
Make sure the outlets aren’t crooked.