A Big Time Focus on the Small Stuff
Maybe it’s Karen Cronin’s recent blog about the importance of the small stuff in graphic design, but lately I’ve been acutely aware of just how important those little details can be to any business trying to stay afloat in a competitive market. We often read about overarching brand elements like the importance of consistency, the power of a great logo, or how to build an authentic brand personality. But the larger power of a brand just might lie in attention to the smallest things.
Giving our attention to the details doesn’t mean ignoring the big stuff. That game-changing marketing idea or and innovative sales approach will still move the needle and help to separate you from the pack. But, while we trumpet those big successes, we need to be mindful of not ignoring the seemingly minor touchpoints that, taken together, define your customer’s experience.
After jumping into the ocean this summer wearing my progressive-lens glasses (they went out to sea…get it?), I walked into See, a local purveyor of high-quality specs. The sales rep was friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful, all the expected stuff. Returning for an adjustment, however, that same rep remembered my name and every detail of my initial visit two weeks earlier. They made the adjustments for free, and I walked out a happy camper. It wasn’t See’s heavily branded in-store environment or their glossy advertising that turned me into a repeat customer; it was the small details, those little human touches that always bring me back.
I had the same experience down the street at Village Cleaners. Seeing me pull into their parking lot, they were running for my dry cleaning before I opened my car door. Again, I was called by my first name, and I left the shop feeling good.
In a 2020 survey conducted by Sales Force, 91% of those surveyed pointed to good service as the main factor they return to a particular business. Customer service is all about giving the smallest detail your full attention.
A dismissive cashier, a seemingly bored receptionist, a lackluster attitude, or any encounter where those brand touchpoints are allowed to flounder has the potential to turn a repeat customer into the kind of negative word of mouth that hurts your business. Sadly, you’ll probably be left scratching your head over what went wrong.
Whether it’s customer service, the tone of your communications, or the tone of voice of the person picking up the phone, covering the little stuff can pay some big dividends.