Earlier this week, I promised that I would balance my somewhat negative post, Burning question, with similar positive insights. Well, today’s the day.
I had planned to conjure up an impressive list of small communications efforts that can make all the difference in shaping a successful interaction. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I couldn’t do it–the impressive list part, that is. As I tried to compile the list in my head, I realized that every interaction that leaves me smiling shares the same feature: someone cares about the details.
Think about it. Successful interactions involve connections. One person finds a common thread and offers it to the other, creating a path on which to navigate the transaction. The easiest way to make a connection, to touch the other person, is to address the details.
Amanda from Madeleine’s Bakehouse does it. She remembers my name and my kids’ names and little things we’ve discussed. So we keep going back.
Evans Toyota did it. They took the time to follow up and find a solution for me before I even knew I had a problem.
Landry’s Bicycles did it. They covered all the bases and made it easy for me to interact with them–and silly for me not to do so.
My friend’s former CEO did it. He made it a point to know everyone’s name and job, regardless of whether he had interacted with her.
The deli clerk in the UK supermarket did it. She went the extra mile and offered to lead my colleagues and me to the right spot in the store after she had given us verbal directions.
Susan, who owns the local Chinese restaurant, does it. She remembers or notices something positive about every single one of her customers, and she makes a point of mentioning it when she thanks them for their business.
Conversely, not caring about the details or getting them wrong can derail any communication effort. For example, doctors missing details can have disastrous effects, not paying attention leads to inaccuracy and inefficiency, as well as a few embarrassing moments, and messing up someone’s name shows a lack of regard for that person’s identity. Try any of these things, positive or negative, and see what happens.
Getting the details right requires some extra effort, but I have no doubt that you’ll quickly reap the benefits of it. The small things matter.