Going the Extra Penny - The One Cent Difference


A penny can make a difference between good service and exceptional service and can take a single transaction from ordinary to memorable.

Recently, I was in a local grocery store. My tab came to $20.01 (twenty dollars and ONE penny). I reached in my wallet and found only two twenty dollar bills; no coins. Holding out the two twenty dollar bills, the cashier took only one, smiled and said, “Don’t worry about the penny.” I smiled back, thanked him, collected my parcels and exited the store.

Sitting in my car, I thought that the cashier would have been well within his bounds to provide $19.99 back, but the simple act of forgoing that penny made my day that much better. More often than not, I get weighed down by change as opposed to getting the “free pass” from a clerk just doing his job. But this isn’t about just doing a job.

How do you go the “extra penny” for your customers? What would one cent difference look like in your world? Would the extra penny be remembering your customers’ spouse’s name? Would it be sending a handwritten note? Perhaps a card on their birthday or maybe a quick email including a link to an article you know would interest them. Or maybe the one cent difference is just a smile, an opened door or kind word.

Exceptional service comes from knowing the right thing to do, adjusting the rules to make a customer happy, and being consistent in your actions. The goal is to forge a relationship that will bring your customer back again and again. If you don’t go the extra penny, your competition will. Focus on the one cent difference and you will be rewarded with a lifetime of referrals, continued business, and happy customers.

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