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Little Things Make a Big Impression When It Comes to Customer Service at Vanacore, Debenecticus, et. al.

Often times when I walk into a company for a meeting, whether it be a marketing call on my behalf or a client consulting session I am usually offered a beverage by someone in the company. Sometimes the offer doesn’t come until I meet with my party, other times it comes when I am greeted by reception and I am waiting for my party to arrive.

Today, with regards to customer service I experienced something completely new, different and most importantly – exceptional and memorable

The company is one of the largest and most prestigious CPA firms in the Hudson Valley Region of New York – Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni and Weddell.

After the “Director of First Impressions” greeted me from behind her open window at the reception counter, she promptly called my party to let him know I had arrived, she handed me a menu of beverages. This menu was presented to me as if it were a wine list at a fine restaurant. The options included soft drinks, coffee, tea, sparkling water, and regular water. I chose plain water.

A few moments later she walked out to the waiting area and handed me a real glass full of water. Usually I am proffered a paper or plastic cup, or a coffee mug with water. This was an impressive drinking glass.

In my business consulting I encourage my clients to focus on the “fundamentals” to achieve market differentiation. In football they call it “blocking and tackling,” in ice hockey its skating and stick handling, in basketball its the free-throws and blocking out under the basket. Every sport has them and all businesses have them.

My musical hero Bruce Springsteen wrote a song a long time ago which is rarely, if ever played, called “It’s the Little Things That Count.” It relates to personal relationships but is just as pertinent in the business setting.

So, today, my vote for a “Champion Business” goes to Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni and Weddell based in Newburgh, NY for the presentation of a beverage “menu” to its guests, offered by their “Director of First Impressions.” Great job!

Another simple example is something I encourage one of my clients to do just a few weeks ago. They had a very impersonal way of answering the phone and I encouraged them to change it so that the greeting included:

  1. “Thank You for Calling xxxxxx company”
  2. This is (Insert First Name)
  3. How may I help you today…

Within one week the positive feedback they received was tremendous. Approximately seven people who called in to the company made comments about how pleasant and welcoming the new greeting made them feel.

So, what are the “little things” in your business that for little or no cost and little additional effort, you could easily raise the bar on the impression you make on your clients, prospects and competitors? Pick one today and start working on it.

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