Go the extra mile for exceptional business
By Sandy Schussel
Sandy Schussel, LLC
In early December, my younger daughter Madi, an actress, had a brilliant idea for a New Year’s marketing campaign. “What if I could send casting directors and producers a little moving image of myself somehow — they could open a box and there my reel would appear before their eyes? Like Princess Leia in her holographic message, saying: "Hire me, Speilberg-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope!’”
That idea evolved into something more realistic and, more importantly, less expensive. Madi found the website of a little company, FlipClips, that offered to turn 10-second film clips into classic flip books — a neat way to package and send her moving performance to producers. She ordered 12 books with fitted mailing envelopes as part of the company’s “greeting card” package, which was due to arrive just in time to make the January cut.
Madi’s 12 flipbooks arrived a few weeks later. They were pristine and crisp, impressive and without a flaw — except that the 12 fitted mailing envelopes that were supposed to be included were missing.
"It’s always an uphill battle!” Madi complained. Like many of us, she often feels most stuck when she has to deal with the aggravations caused by unexceptional service — having to argue for those few extra dollars that appear mysteriously on your phone bill or having to deal with yet another exchange of your malfunctioning office equipment. “No one ever seems to get it right in the first place, in both a timely and friendly manner,” she tells me.
Her mailing would already be late for a New Year’s campaign, and now she would be forced to wait even longer for those envelopes. Doing your own exceptional business, in a sea of the unexceptional businesses you need to work with in order to accomplish that business, just isn’t easy.
Madi did what she needed to do to get her mailing out. By morning, she had placed a phone call and written an email to FlipClips to get the attention she required, asking the company to either overnight her the envelopes or offer her a partial refund. Meanwhile, she scheduled a Friday trip to the necessary store to find and purchase the exact right envelopes, despite the begrudged extra expense of her money and her time.
That’s when the magic happened. Madi had presented FlipClips with an opportunity for a moment of truth — a chance to turn a disappointed customer into a raving fan and advocate. Sairam at FlipClips responded to my daughter’s email, called her twice and left two voicemails. The first was to apologize for the oversight and explain that he would overnight the envelopes to her immediately. The second was to correct his first message, and to explain that he had just driven over to Madi’s home and dropped the package off with her building manager.
As it turns out, Sairam had included 13 fitted envelopes in his delivery — just in case she needed an extra.
Go the extra mile, and you’ll have your clients or prospects telling stories about you — stories like this one — and coming back to you again and again.