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Little things have a big impact

May 12, 2011

Maybe is it something many of us want to hear, but little things really do make a big difference. Sometimes this is in a good way and sometimes not. Here’s a couple of examples that struck me last week.

I was working in Europe (oh the glamour) with a client that I visit a few times a year. They very kindly put me in the NH Hotel Dusseldorf Nord each time. It’s a business hotel, very comfortable and has all the usual facilities I expect a business hotel to have, but like many business hotels can feel a bit impersonal at times. I ate in the bar for two evenings, a quick bar snack and a pint as time was against me.

On the second evening, having asked for my tab, it was brought to my table for signature, but came with a half pint of the beer I had been drinking ‘for the road’ the barman said. Now I have eaten in the bar on previous occasions but am hardly their most regular customer. The barman may have remembered me, he may have had to finish a barrel, frankly I don’t care. I was really impressed by the simple gesture and have already told others about it. What great and memorable service.

On the flight home next day I had cause to think about the opposite effect. This time the focus was definitely on making life easier for the company rather than the customer. When about to start the trolly dash to sell as much as possible in the nano second between take off and landing, the cabin crew cheerfully instructed all passengers to make every effort to have the correct money ready if they wanted refreshment. I’m sure they give change if required, but many of the passengers were clearly searching pockets and the corners of bags in an attempt to ‘help’.

Little things really do have a big impact, and that impact is often not seen – perhaps until it is too late.

Richard Lock

Management trainer, presenter, speaker and facilitator.

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