Surprise A Customer. Every Day.

My payroll company recently made an error, charging me an improper fee. Upon contacting them to make them aware of the error, they quickly acknowledged the problem, and promised to credit my account.

That was two weeks ago. And even though I’ve seen a paper record of the promised credit, I have not seen the credit applied to my account. To which I commented to someone standing nearby:

“Jeez, they are sure quick to take money out of my account, but they will sure take their sweet time putting it back.”

How many times do you do something like this to your customer? How many times do you promise a corrective action, and take three weeks to do it (or more)? How many times do you let a simple action take too long, and watch the good will that could be generated by taking that action, evaporate?

And more importantly, how many times has someone said something about you and your company to someone standing nearby to them?

It is an opportunity lost to build longer-term loyalty with that customer…

Sad to say, but quick action by my payroll company to correct their mistake would have surprised me. It would have made me happy.

It wouldn’t have taken much to make me happy (a sad state of affairs in this modern world, but it is what it is).

The point is, surprise people. Every day. And the real point of this post is that it doesn’t take much to do so. And you don’t need to read a lot of marketing books, or hire fancy schmancy marketing consultants to tell you that…


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[cartoon by hugh macleod]

  • Gina Carr

    Great post Todd. There is a lot of wisdom here. Thanks for reminding us.

  • Todd Schnick

    thanks gina. sometimes we just gotta think a little bit, you know? seems too many small business folks don’t use their heads…