it’s always the little things

Positive branding comes from positive customer experiences. Most of your brand is built through mundane daily customer experiences rather than polished marketing messages.

The opportunity and danger in this is that there are a LOT of little things that can either be a remarkable delight for customers or a slightly off-key note.

I eat regularly at a place that occasionally offers me a free food incentive on my receipt if I take their online survey. I usually take the survey because … hey … free taco.

At the end of the otherwise well-designed feedback survey, the final screen tells me to write the confirmation number on the line provided on the receipt and bring it in for the free food.

But … there’s no line anywhere on the receipt.

I usually just jot it down in some white space on the receipt and redeem it.

Is the line a big deal? No.

Does the lack of the line offend me so much that I will never set foot in the place again? No.

But here’s the point. If they’re missing such an obvious little thing, what else are they missing in the customer experience?

It’s like a story I enjoy using when I speak to groups about how you never notice your house stinks until you’ve been gone for a few days and return home. Likewise, business owners don’t notice the many things customers do notice because they rarely go through the customer experience for themselves.

They never see the dead plant at the entrance of the building like customers because they enter from a back door.

They never get lost in phone call center option matrix that their customers have to navigate.

And they never notice a line is missing where they say a line should be.

Chris Houchens is a marketing raconteur & writer. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

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3 comments on “it’s always the little things
  1. It seems like the lack of that little line was pretty jarring, considering that you remembered it, jotted it down and expounded on it.

  2. Heba@Garious says:

    You made a fantastic point here, Chris. It boggles my mind how many businesses tend to overlook customer experience. Yes, small details can make a huge difference. Thanks to social media, “eavesdropping” on what people are saying about your brand became super-easy especially with many automatic-brand-monitoring tools available. What are some of your fav. SM tools that you personally use and recommend to your clients?

    • Thanks for the comment. To your question, I think HootSuite and Google Alerts are the simpest tools that anyone can use for the best effect.

      I think that many businesses are now “better” at monitoring what people are saying about the brand on social media and other digital channels than the actual in-person in-store experience. That’s where the cash changes hands!