SOME “BUTTERFLY EFFECT” TRIGGERS
IN CUSTOMER SERVICE, AND ELSEWHERE
More simple wisdom from Jerry Posner
If you’ve ever attended my workshops or talks, you’ve probably heard of “The Butterfly Effect” (By the way, I do not recommend the movie).
In short: “The Butterfly Effect” refers to the notion that small, seemingly insignificant changes in one part of the world (the flutter of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil) can affect or influence conditions far away (tornado in Texas). Or … as the cliché goes, little things can make a big difference!
If indeed, a butterfly flutter can set off a tsunami, then I’d like to know which butterfly, where and when? And what happens if we capture that particular butterfly and bring it to the Bellagio in Vegas? Will the entire universe be changed forever, as so many science fiction stories and films strongly suggest?
It does seem to me that, yes, every little teeny-tiny variable in choice, habit, and communication … has the potential to trigger destiny-shaping events.
Maybe not ALL of the time, but certainly MUCH of the time, we can choose between:
Bad moods / Good moods
Speaking with a kind tone / Speaking with a mean tone
Expressing hospitality without boundaries / Ignoring your guests
Gratitude / Pettiness
Every choice sets into motion some kind of cause/effect ripple. How significant? How life changing? Only time will tell! It’s much easier to look back in the past to see those patterns, than it is to accurately predict the final result of any action or choice in the present.
But we can certainly increase probabilities!
In business, for example – attentive, friendly, customer-centered service stacks the odds for some positive results. This is obvious and cliché.
I was staying at the Holiday Inn in Concord, NH where I thought the treatment of their guest (me) was exemplary. Soon after that, I stayed at another hotel where the service could have been much better. I wrote an article about my experiences, posted it to my blog, and e-mailed it to clients and friends. Here is an excerpt:
I checked in to the Holiday Inn, Concord NH, and was pleasantly greeted at the front desk, given a few amenities that come with my Priority Club membership (including two free snacks or beverages from the hotel store), and an envelope with my name on it. I opened it and read a HANDWRITTEN note card welcoming me back, thanking me for my business, and reminding me that, if I had any problems or needs, to contact the manager on duty, and it was signed by her. This impressed me. So much so, that I’ve been reading it to my workshop and seminar attendees.
My wake-up call the next morning was made by a real person. Pleasant voice, good tone, just right for 5:30 AM. I liked that. And, not only was the required USA Today at my door, but a local newspaper as well. Nice touch.
These small things have increased my own loyalty, and helped to convert me from a satisfied customer into a raving fan and apostle. I speak their praises in my speeches, blog about them, and mentioned them in my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn missives.
If you’d like to read the entire article, titled “A TALE OF TWO HOTELS” just scroll down.
So, some “hospitality without boundaries” from the Holiday Inn Concord NH staff “butterfly effected” some excellent positive publicity … which might earn them more guests, the praise of their parent company, and other goodies.
What can YOU do today that will “stack the odds” for some positive results for you and your company? Identify some worthy behaviors and actions, and like the Nike ads suggest, JUST DO IT!