Going the Extra Mile

This week I’ve thought a lot about going the extra mile. Do I have to do as much for people as I do? Probably not. Does it make me stand out from the crowd? Absolutely. Now, I don’t go the extra mile to be recognized or to gain favor from a potential client. I do it because it’s how I’d want to be treated.

Here’s a common example of how to go the extra mile. When I call someone for information, having them get back to me quickly is important. I called you with the hopes you’d answer the phone and answer my question. Wow me by calling me back quickly.

It surprises me the number of people who will put off returning a phone call immediately. Often they do so for a legitimate reason, like they don’t have all the information needed to return the call. I, however, will call to tell the person I got their call and don’t have an answer yet, but that I’ll get back to them.

Maybe this call is a wasted effort or waste of time, but I don’t think so or I wouldn’t do it. People almost always respond, “Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.” When I don’t have the answer they need, they respond with, “I appreciate that you called and will wait for your call with the answer.”

In an era where human interaction can be somewhat limited, we all wonder if our messages or emails or texts just disappeared into cyber space or if someone received it.

The other day, we watched a sales technician put someone on hold for about 15 minutes. I almost reached over the counter and picked up the line and apologized to the woman on hold for being the customer who was keeping the technician busy, which in turn, kept her on hold.

The clerk appeared unconcerned that he put someone on hold that long without updates on what was happening or without letting her know he was still there. As the person on hold, I would have been livid at being ignored and treated as if my time didn’t matter. Responding and updating people keeps them calm. It reminds them they’ve been heard. It’s not really even the extra mile of service, it’s just good service.

What are some things you can do to go the extra mile?

• Send the link for the website you reference so they don’t have to search themselves
• Send a meeting appt after an email exchange setting up a time and date
• Provide solutions and options you’ve researched for that person, don’t just suggest change
• Offer a solution that may not make you money, but which serves the client

These are all little things that make big differences. It may seem common sense to some of us, but it’s not common practice. Make this conversation part of your workplaces today and wow someone with how much you value them by how you treat them.

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