I recently celebrated a birthday. Friends and colleagues posted best wishes to my Facebook account or website with vague recommendations to “make it a good one.” Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the thought. But I am aware of the mindlessness of the process.
“Oh, it is so-and-so’s birthday,” you say to yourself after the social media app alerts you to the fact. You bounce over to their wall, page, whatever and leave a little note such as “Happy Birthday! Make it a good one.” Just for example.
Perhaps that is why I was so taken when I received a “Happy Birthday” email from a company that provides my Internet access. It wasn’t selling me anything. I wasn’t getting a discount for service. It was just an email in my inbox from the President and regional manager of the company that said:
“We hear you have a birthday in September! Happy Birthday from everyone at (small local cable company)! We wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but decided instead to send our birthday wishes via email.
“So have a fantastic birthday month and know that we’ll be celebrating you as a customer every day.”
Was it automated? Probably. But it was the random surprise from a vendor that touched me. In a world where customer service can impact brand loyalty, the fact that they reached out to me spoke volumes. I have yet to receive birthday wishes from the larger companies I may currently deal with or have dealt in the past.
Companies are typically delivering such lackluster experience, products and services that it directly hurts their bottom line. I’m not saying go over the top to make people feel special — what I am saying is that it is the little things that win people over. Don’t overlook a smile, an email or even just a “how can I help you?” They will come back to your ten-fold.