Mac is three years old and the son of Matt Jones, co-founder of WebPunch. He is also my nephew; I’m a bit crazy for this little guy. He loves the Incredible Hulk (yes, he has a little of his dad in him) and hamburgers, aka hangeburts.
Matt and I recently took our hamburger-loving Incredible Hulk to a chain restaurant for dinner. On the kids menu you could order ice cream and for only 50 cents extra, you could get sprinkles on top. I love spoiling our little guy so of course we ordered the ice cream! I couldn’t wait for his little belly to be fat and happy.
The waitress we had was great. She was busy and so was the restaurant; it was jam-packed with other hangeburt-loving people. When Mac’s ice cream was delivered it was, to his dismay, missing the sprinkles. What the heck? Didn’t the waitress know that it's all about the sprinkles?
It reminded me of something customer service expert and speaker, Shep Hyken said recently in his newsletter. “Don’t make a statement to a customer you can’t deliver on. Don’t try and sell a 'half-truth.' If you get caught, it isn’t a half-truth. It’s a lie, even if it is a meaningless lie. The point is don't overpromise and underdeliver. It’s a dangerous strategy. It sets expectations that may or may not be able to be met. You may get the customer once, but they may not come back when they realize you didn’t keep your promise.”
It’s all about managing expectations. If you say the ice cream will have sprinkles, it'd better have sprinkles or something comparable.
Is this rant really about the silly sprinkles? Not really (but kind of, right?!). For me, it was just a reminder to do better as a business owner because it’s easy to start thinking that something as small as the “sprinkles” don’t make a difference to our clients. But they do. Clients notice when you don't deliver the sprinkles. They know what was expected and they really know when you don't make up for a broken promise.
I am learning that it is the little things that make a difference and it’s also what will make a good business a great business.
So don’t forget the freaking sprinkles! (We won’t, we promise.)
And don’t worry, we ask Mac on a consistent basis how to say hamburger. We just can’t get enough hangeburts out of that little fella!