Minor Annoyances

They (whoever “they” are) say “don’t sweat the small stuff”.  And that’s good advice.  But wouldn’t it be a great day if there wasn’t any small stuff to worry about?  Wouldn’t it be great to know that we didn’t do anything, no matter how small, that gets on our customers’ nerves?

The trouble is we don’t usually get the credit for making our customers lives a little easier when we eliminate the annoyances from their lives.  Case in point:  As you might imagine, I get a lot of magazines.  Most of them are free, but there are a couple that I pay for.  Of course, they all have to be renewed occasionally.

I don’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I fill out the subscription paperwork and it fits nicely into the postage-paid envelope.  That’s expected.  But this morning I filled out the paperwork for one of the paid subscription magazines and it didn’t fit into the envelope.  The freebies all get it right, but the one that actually costs money (a lot of money, in fact) sends me an envelope that’s too small!

Here’s the thing.  Mismatching the form and the envelope isn’t a big enough deal to complain about.  I’m not going to write a letter to the other couple of dozen magazines praising them for their consideration.  But shouldn’t somebody at the magazine have thought of this?  They must send out thousands and thousands of these subscription forms every month.  Who dropped the ball?

We all have our favorite examples of minor annoyances:

  • Hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of twelve
  • “Some assembly required” items that require a special tool that only Bob Vila would have in his tool box.
  • “Batteries not included”
  • Knives and scissors in clam shell packaging that you can only open with a knife or scissors.

Of course, the point is for you to ask yourself, “Is there anything that I do, no matter how small, that aggravates my customers?”  “If so, how can I make it better?”

Competition today is fierce.  You need every possible advantage.  Making our customers lives easier is something that we can do at little or no cost.  And a lot of little things can add up to some big sales.

How about you?  What gets on your nerves?  Let us know.

One Response

  1. Part of what we do is install and service Central Vacuum Systems. Sometimes the unit must be returned to the shop for repair. Some folks get really uptight of the thought of no Vacuum for a week. The last time my supplier changed models I took our floor model and put it on the service truck. You would think I gave them a $100.00. We now use that in our sales pitch. A loaner program fashioned after our Simplicity loaner program.

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