If you are not bothered by the details, your customers will be.

white shower curtain on stainless steel shower head

Have you ever wanted to ask a company if they know what they are doing?

This past summer, my wife and I did a little vacationing at the beach. We were staying in the area for two weeks, and because we could not get one hotel for the whole time, we were going to have to stay in one place, we will call it resort A, for three days, move to another, resort B, for a few days, and then move for the final week to yet another place, resort C. It just sounds exhausting, right?

Anyway, my wife, being the consummate planner and hotel whisperer that she is, was able to acquire a space in resort A for the entire first week, thus alleviating one of our moves which was great because we didn’t want to have to move everything three times.

While all of that was great, the problem came in a communication issue at resort A. For whatever reason, on the day we were originally slated to leave, the housekeeping crew did not get the memo. They had all their gear for cleaning the room and changing all the sheets and towels ready and waiting at the door. We were even asked when we were leaving. As we did not want them entering and disturbing everything, we called the front desk to remind them that we had changed our reservation and were not leaving and to let housekeeping know.

While this is not exactly something that warrants a front-page headline, it does beg a question. What message does a business send when one department does not know what the other is doing? What does it say when you actually cause a customer strife because you can’t get a simple communication across the channels of a single business unit? Does all of this create more or less confidence in customers? Will my wife and I now worry about bigger things with this company like getting a reservation held or ensuring dietary needs or allergy problems are accounted for?

Everything speaks to customers. While such a little thing like housekeeping not being on top of a reservation change may not be the stuff of legendary business snafus, you can see how it can become legendary in the eyes of the customer. You see, if a customer’s doubts grow enough, the business may lose that customer…for life. If enough people lose confidence, the business may lose a lot of customers for life. How much revenue is that? And how much word of mouth will cause would-be customers to lose faith?

Details, details, it’s all in the details. Conrad Hilton was right when, in answer to a question about his greatest professional lesson, he replied, “Remember to tuck the shower curtain inside the bathtub.” It’s not the big things that make so much difference. Most companies get the big things. It is, rather, the little details. It’s the communication from the front desk to housekeeping to let them know not to bother the people in room 528 because they have extended their reservation.

Look at your operation. What details could use a tweak? Talk to your customers and your employees. Where are little balls being dropped that might be causing customers to lose faith and talk negatively about you to prospective customers?

Take it from Walt Disney who said, “there is no magic in magic, it’s all in the details.” He was absolutely right. The power of customer confidence lies in your business’s ability to manage the small things. Isn’t it time for you to get on that?

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