• Bill Petrie

Would You Pay For It?

When it comes to the client experience, the small things are the big things.


Most business owners I know will tell me they are “100% focused on the client.” While that sounds good, it’s generally not accurate. The truth is that, over time, many will make tiny sacrifices to service that they believe won’t be noticed by clients: taking more time to respond to distributor inquiries, small changes in quality to increase profits, or simply cutting back staff leading to communication gaps.

However, those small details generally develop into service gaps that drive clients away. This is especially true in the promotional products industry, where all distributors essentially sell the same products to the same target audience at roughly the same price.

Here’s a hard truth: almost everyone does the big things well: product gets sold at a fair price, is appropriately decorated, is shipped on time, and invoiced promptly. But unfortunately, clients generally don’t share how accurately you are decorating a hat or invoicing it quickly. Those are the big things, and they are expected. This is why the little things – the ones that too many are quick to dismiss as not noticed or appreciated by clients – have more value than ever.

As you look at the experience you and your staff have created, you must ask yourself one question every single day: have you developed a service philosophy – one that focuses on the seemingly insignificant little things – that you could imagine paying to experience?

Little things like hand-written thank you notes, ordering a spec sample of a product that you know your client would personally love, or even sending over a few dozen doughnuts and coffee because they are up against a deadline for their client. These are the experiences that people remember and talk about for months – even years.

The big things are easy, and just about everyone does them well; this is why it’s impossible to use them as differentiators. However, those seemingly insignificant little things that take more thought, time, and effort are precisely the things that hold the keys to client happiness, loyalty, and profitability.

It’s time to create a client experience you would be thrilled to pay for over and over again.

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