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Blog 314: How To #$%@up Experiences

The easiest way is to be stingy with your thoughts and actions. To focus on the service, on completing the task and nothing else. That tunnel vision will cost you dearly.

Service is what you do. Experience is how you do it, and consequences are what matters. When you get the experience right, your clients are happier, more loyal, spend more money and tell more people to do business with you.

This isn’t exactly rocket surgery.

When you don’t get the experience right, you slip back down to delivering services and compete on price, and you’re vulnerable to someone else who can provide the same service at the same price or less and who may be able to get the work done earlier.

I thought of this on the weekend when I picked up my car after having it serviced at the dealership. The bill was over $3,000, and they had had my car for about eight weeks. The delay was due to a part that was on backorder.

The dealership didn’t let me down. It may have taken weeks and weeks, but that wasn’t their fault. Nobody else would have had the part or had it delivered any sooner. These are the strange times we are living in for the next little while anyway.

Right next door to the dealership is a car detailing business, the best in town. For about $40, they’ll make any car showroom ready in about 15 minutes. I always bring my car there, as I did immediately after picking up my car. What I couldn’t forgive was how dirty my car was.

But I wondered …

Why didn’t they do it? They could have brought the car to the detailer and surprised me. Instead of picking up a dirty jeep that is 15 years old, I would have picked up a repaired jeep, tidy, polished and ready for another adventure.

The cost? They could have paid for it on their own or, with some creativity, hidden the price. Assuming they’d choose to pay for it, $40 would be the best advertising they could buy. I’d feel something – surprise, satisfaction and delight. I’d feel seen and important.

Instead, I took it there myself, and on the way home realized that one of the turn signals didn’t work. Somehow it sat there for eight weeks, and before they released it back to me, they never checked the signals.

I never asked. Should it matter?

Think and act generously. It’s the best marketing available.

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