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Make Your Service a “Big Boy” Event

The following is a guest post by Chip Bell. Chip’s latest book (with John R. Patterson) is Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to Do About It.

Two things I remember about my very first suit.  It was a powder blue suit–perfect for Easter Sunday church dress-up.  And, it was a “big boy” event.  I was seven years old.  The store was a two-hour drive from my rural home town and was visited only every August to buy school clothes.  But, this purchase required a special spring journey.

The “big boy” event started with the sales person pulling up a chair to sit in front of me at my eye level.  He shook my hand and introduced himself by his first name, not “Mr.” Without a single glance at my dad; he asked me about my favorite color.  And, my second favorite color.  He asked me about my hobbies and my best friend’s name.  We were pals in a matter of minutes.  I walked out of the store very tall with a suit in my favorite color, a white dress shirt, a pair of shoes, and a tie in my second favorite color.  Did I mention that I was seven?

The photo is a picture of my friend Steve Curtin’s son, Carter.  Carter is three.  In a few short years he will know more about buying online than you do.  With expectations for service climbing thirty percent a year, he will expect you to almost read his mind.  He will require you to make getting service as easy as riding a tricycle—maybe easier.  He and his best friends will determine quickly if you thrive or go bankrupt.  And, he will expect every single service encounter with you to be a “big boy” event.

You can wait until Carter grows up and be way behind the curve.  Or, you can practice on your current customers so when Carter crosses your threshold or home page, he will remember you like a powder blue suit with a forest green tie.

Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
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