Last Friday was full of excitement for all the members of the Finnerty family. I was scheduled to officially finish school, my wife was planning to have a relaxing day off with me (well – maybe not that exciting for her…), and Ginger was booked in for a day of doggy fun at the doggy day care.
We arrived at K9HQ – the dog daycare– and went about our usual hand off, Ginger fighting to get inside to go play with the other dogs, me fighting to make it look like I had some sort of control over her. I mentioned to the folks at the daycare that I was graduating, and they said “congrats!” and I was on my way.
The day went well, though a bit rainy, and I learned the looks of admiration while wearing a robe for convocation are largely different than the looks of condemnation one gets while wearing a bath robe. Who knew Wal-Mart had a dress code?
I returned to pick up Ginger at the end of the day, and she sulked as she left her friends. The owner of the daycare handed me an envelope, saying it was something for me. I opened it up to find a congratulations card, with a nice personal note inside.
There was no reason for them to do this. They had already told me congrats that morning, and this card wasn’t just something they had printed off the web or had sitting around. It was a nice card, with a nice note, from nice people. Note I said people, not business or company. These folks acted on one thing that I mentioned, and took the time out of their day to buy something to make me feel appreciated. And it worked.
You keep hearing that “the devil’s in the details” and “it’s the little things that count” (my wife hears this one often). The secret is to listen to what your customers are saying. Find a way to make a connection with them, and they will be the best advertisers for your business.
Price and quality will continue to be unique selling points, but when all other things are equal, it’s the personal touches that will set you, and your business, apart from the rest. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) isn’t rocket science. It’s treating your customers like friends.