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Going The Extra Mile

· Work Styles,Expectations,Customer Service

A few years ago, we had interior painting performed in our home by the same vendor we had once before for another project. For anonymity purposes, I’ll call him – David. David ran his business on his own and services all clients directly without any assistants. He started his day later than the norm, to fit his schedule, arriving between 10 and 11 AM, and stayed usually until about 5:30 and 6:30 PM. Following his convenience, he spread a job out over more calendar days than if he had worked more hours per day. Regardless, he was being paid by the project rather than by the hour but it was an inconvenience to us, the customer.

Our observation this second time was that he didn’t seem to focus as much on the detail that he claimed is what separated him from his competition. In fact, his company had the word “Plus” in the name, signifying a philosophy of always giving more. When we discussed areas we were not fully satisfied with, he made excuses for each concern. David offered a service that was not unique and more expensive than most in our area. We were very satisfied with his performance with the first project so we brought him back for another, but not so much the second time. In fact, we made a decision after we paid him, not to use him again.

Are you going the extra mile in your business? Are you giving your customers more added value than your competition – and if so, is that clearly defined? If employed by an organization, what is your contribution to your team, department or overall company? What separates you from others in the organization or in the job market for that matter? If looking for a new position, how can you demonstrate what you have accomplished in the past as an indication of why you are the best of the best – la crème de la crème?

David lost two things from us that day he didn’t meet our expectations for outstanding performance. First, he lost repeat business going forward. Second, he lost any additional referrals we could have provided him. And he may never know how this may affect his business with us or other customers.

" The beginning of all wisdom

is the definition of terms." – Socrates