The extra mile will make you smile
Yesterday after Donna Lee‘s cardiac rehabilitation regimen in Conyers, Georgia we popped into the Publix grocery store to do some quick shopping. By the time we finished shopping, it was getting close to noon. With all those groceries beautifully displayed around us, we were both getting hungry. I said, “Should we go home or to Crab Harbor?”
Crab Harbor is a restaurant we discovered about two weeks ago. I love their grilled fish with lemon pepper sauce! We debated and decided to head on over for more of their delicious fish. Most of their business is “to go,” they don’t have a lot of dine-in customers. Part of our debate about whether we should eat there again was because you order at the counter, get your drink from a dispenser, and your food comes out in a styrofoam container with plastic utensils. “Sit down” is the style I prefer.
I dropped Donna Lee off at the curb while I looked for a place to park. Nikka, the wonderful lady behind the counter, noticed Donna Lee with her cane coming across the sidewalk and ran out to open the door for her.
As we were getting our drinks, I said, “Sweetheart, I guess you’ll have to have a Diet Coke.” Donna Lee and I sure prefer unsweetened iced tea. Crab Harbor only has syrupy, southern, sweet, iced tea on display.
I asked Nikka, the attendant, “Do you have any unsweetened iced tea in the kitchen?”
“No, sir. I’m really sorry. We sure don’t. Well, I could run to the chicken shack next door to get you some!”
“Thank you. That’s not necessary.”
Before I stopped talking, she was gone! Talk about tip-worthy extra mile service! (See Repeat Business: 6 Steps to Superior Customer Service pg. 21). Suddenly, the modest restaurant took on a whole new aura, a whole new ambiance.
The lesson I learned form this experience is that extra mile service creates “the halo effect.” The modesty of the restaurant was now completely overshadowed by her extra mile service.
What more could you do today for your internal and/or external customers that will go beyond your call of duty, stretching beyond what is expected of you? As you go the extra mile beyond what is required of your job, happily providing this extraordinary, wowing, customer service, you will gain the halo effect. You’ll be seen more in the light of your strengths. Everyone will be more forgiving of your little faults and shortcomings.