Now I realize that I started something of a little hailstorm in my last
post, but really what I was trying to convey is the difference between
ordinary customer service and extraordinary customer service. So, if
that didn’t come across very well, let me give you another example.
Back in 2000, I was living in a cozy little duplex but the landlord
decided not to extend our lease another year, so my roommate and I had
to move out. But before we did, we hired a cleaning crew. They charged
about $120 and I thought they did a good job and the place looked
Then I met Pam Suino—the wife of my martial arts instructor who quickly became my best friend in the entire world. She and her husband Nick were living in northern Michigan where Pam was in business for herself, cleaning houses and hotel rooms. Then they moved back to Ann Arbor so Nick could open a new martial arts school. That meant Pam had to drop all her clients, move down to Ann Arbor, and start up all over again.
Don and I figured we could help her out by hiring her.
Well, Pammie came in and she cleaned like I have NEVER seen anyone clean! Not only was the house absolutely SPARKLING, she was cleaning things other housekeepers would never even dream of thinking about cleaning! Like the mold that appeared on the underside of the sliding shower door, the siding of our house, even Don’s crappy, dingy old computer keyboards which were gleaming white once more! She has ways of getting out stains in carpet and clothes that won’t come out with any stain remover you could buy. She even managed to get out the stink in Don’s karate uniforms just by using a cup of ammonia in the wash! (Everyone should do that if your gym clothes stink.) She’s unbelievable!! She has creative and wonderful ways to organize our things so that the house is less cluttered, and decorate our house to so it’s more home-y.
On top of all that, she leaves little treats for us—something she does for all her customers. We’ll come home to find a warm lemon poppy seed loaf waiting for us, or a cute little tea light candle to decorate our bland bookshelf. Once, she even bought us a beautiful red (she knows that’s my favorite color) bed spread for our guest bed as a way of thanking us for referring her to so many clients! All this and she only charges us about $100—less than the cleaning crew I hired previously, but she does WAY more.
I once recommended her to a friend of ours and the next time I ran into him, he looked at me with his eyes wide, and a stunned look on his face and all he said to me was, “HOLY CRAP!!!” I smiled, knowing he was talking about Pam.
That’s THE DIFF. That’s what I mean by ordinary and extraordinary customer service. It’s beyond delivering someone’s food order on time and saying “Thanks for your patronage. Please come again.” It’s going more than the extra mile. It’s doing wonderful things for your customers that no one else will—things that make your customers love you and want to do business with you for life. Pammie gets it. I get it. Do you?
By the way, in case you were interested in hiring her, she only does houses in Ann Arbor, MI and she’s all booked up, but if you want to be put on a waiting list, you can forward your info to me and I’ll forward it to her.