The Difference Between Ordinary and Extraordinary is…

Customers today are pretty conditioned to expect and accept status quo service. Many organizations offer a certain level of help because it’s the industry norm and nothing more. So, when an employee or organization does something that goes above and beyond it’s instantly noticeable.


Details matter…a lot. They are the difference between average and amazing. Take Lululemon for example- customers leave with a branded reusable bag rather than a generic plastic one;  provides one-click purchases to save shoppers time; and Apple packages its products in beautiful boxes with clean lines. These companies understand why details matter.


As a customer experience professional, I get paid to obsess over the little things. One way I do this is by reading books and blogs on delighting customers. I like to stay current in my craft, learn new tricks, and most importantly meet new people. Recently I started following Steve Curtin– blogger, author, speaker, and customer experience aficionado. I’ve enjoyed reading his content immensely and he’s very friendly on all of his social channels.


We’ve exchanged a few comments here and there, primarily on Twitter and his website. Last week he sent me a direct message asking for my mailing address so that he could send me something. I have to be honest- I had very low expectations. I figured I would maybe receive a small booklet that he frequently gives away to all of his followers. To be on the safe side, I provided a professional address and forgot about the exchange.


Fast forward to today- I received his package and was shocked, giddy with joy, and at a total loss for words when I opened it up. It takes a lot to impress me so this says a lot. Enclosed in the package was his book and a recent article from the Wall Street Journal. I know, it doesn’t sound like much but the story get’s way BETTER!!


The article was dated May 17, 2016, and is about female runners. No big deal, right? WRONG! What stands out about this gesture is that I am incredibly passionate about distance running. I just completed my first marathon and have a deep love for the sport. Handwritten on the side of the paper was this note: “Katie- Thought this story may be of interest, Steve”. The only way he would know that about me is by taking the time to check out my blog or look at my social channels. And the article is one week old so the timing was on point.


He signed his book with the following note on the inside cover page: “Katie- The difference between ordinary and extraordinary really is that little ‘extra'”. Mind blown. I have no idea how much time or money it took him to prepare the package. What I do know, however, is that one simple gesture completely blew me away.


This is the best example I’ve ever personally experienced where attention to detail completely caught me off guard in the best possible way. Although I have never had the privilege of meeting Steve (yet), he walks the talk and understands how to delight customers. If you don’t follow him on Twitter, you should. And if you don’t follow his blog, start now! I can’t wait to dig into his book this weekend and I’ll be sure to provide a summary when I’m done.


Thanks for making my day (week), Steve! Your generosity and kindness have made a lasting impression upon me.


Do details matter to you? How do you delight your customers? I want to hear about it! Leave me a comment below or send me a tweet.

1 Comment
    May 9, 2017

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