I went out for lunch one day and saw a menu item I liked that contained three different types of salads. I loved two of them, but wasn’t crazy about the third and asked the server if I could substitute one of them for another salad.
Here’s the conversation that ensued:
Me: “Can I substitute that last salad for a different one?”
Server: “I don’t think so.”
Me: “You don’t think so – or you’re sure you can’t?”
Server: “I’m pretty sure you can’t do that.”
Me: Well, can you ask someone and find out for sure? I don’t want the third salad and won’t order this if I can’t substitute, but I’d like to know.”
She (reluctantly) went to the cooks and asked… voila! It could be done!
The appalling fact was that not only was it like pulling teeth just to get her to double-check her facts on her own products… but afterward, there was no apology, and not even a glimmer of hope that she’d learned from this situation and would proactively check her facts in the future.
The same concept holds true for co-workers. If, for example, you’re supposed to give a co-worker information, a report, or other service in order to help them do their job better (or on time), add a calendar reminder for monthly deliverables you owe them… but don’t add it on the day you owe it – add it for two days earlier. Neither of you will have to worry about missing a deadline if either of you gets behind in your workload because you will have built in a little cushion of time to allow for unforeseen delays in other areas.
Even better, you will create a WOW that will come back to you in positive ways in the future.
So if you want to WOW your customers – and co-workers – try to think proactively about what they want, what you can do about it, and how you can go about getting it for them, if at all possible, before they have to ask for it at all – but especially before they have to ask for it twice…
© Sandy Geroux All rights reserved.