Pebbles can be very irritating. Recall when a small one found its way in to your shoe.
Pebbles can also tip the customer service scale. The things we like are stones on the positive side of the scale; the things we don’t like weigh on the negative side. As long as the scale stays tipped toward the positive, we’re happy.
Today I did a call ahead appointment with a service provider that (theoretically) meant I wouldn’t have to wait when I arrived. In the five minute drive to the establishment, the service provider decided to squeeze in another customer and make me wait thus defeating the purpose of the system.
That was a small irritating pebble. By itself it wasn’t enough to make me go elsewhere, but added to a few other negative stones, it was just enough to tip the scale the wrong way.
Service pluses and minuses are cumulative. Mistakes are irritating pebbles; service failures are annoying stones. It should be obvious: we want to keep adding positive pebbles and removing negative ones to keep the scale tipping in favor of good value and lasting relationships.
Interestingly I’ve not heard from the service provider. Perhaps the irritating stone went unnoticed. That’s unfortunate because it is rarely too late to remove the pebble and regain the right customer service scale balance.
Tend to your scales today, and pay attention to those annoying little stones that tilt customers away.