The $10 Rule

We all know, almost instinctively, that keeping customers happy is the key to repeat business and to the success of an enterprise.

But what can the executive level of an organization do, in a concrete way, to allow the customer-facing members of that organization to make that happen?

The answer is simple: allow them to use the situational awareness and judgment that they already have.

How? Give them permission to spend $10 of company money to fix a problem.

  • Customer’s six-year-old dropped their ice cream in your parlour? Make them another one.
  • Hotel room not ready on time? Offer them a drink while they wait.

Of course, the number doesn’t have to be $10. Depending on the style of your organization or the market you’re in, it might be much larger (or a little smaller).

  • Client on your million-dollar project getting anxious? Spend a grand on flights and go see them in person. 
  • A customer’s new PC doesn’t work? send out the new part before getting the old one back, screw the RMA process. 

This may all sound very obvious, but you would be surprised by the number of companies that do not have an explicit policy around this. Even more surprising is the number of companies that will expend for more than $10 of manager payroll just debating yes or no. Enabling this policy and fine-tuning it for your organization has the potential for a significant return on investment.

In a world driven by word-of-mouth referrals and scathing online reviews, it’s getting more and more important to turn every customer experience into a positive one.

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