Great Service is the Delivery of Extra

Marlene Moran, a collections rep at Aurora’s Forest Home Center in Milwaukee contacted a customer in his 90’s about his overdue medical bills.  During the call, she learned the man was unable to pay anything; in fact his eye sight was so bad he could not even read his bill plus he was an amputee.  Marlene contacted an Aurora financial counselor who dispatched Kathy Paul for a home visit.  “I was able to find and help him complete his application for senior care which had expired,” said Paul.  “We also contacted the county who arranged for a social agency to visit him weekly to provide personal care.  I left him my phone number to call anytime he had a concern.”  Her actions were like the story of the boy returning starfish trapped on the beach back into the ocean, despite the fact there were thousands on the shore.  When a passerby chastised the boy for pursuing a task that was too massive to make a difference, he retorted, as he tossed another starfish into the surf:  “it made a difference to that one!”  The story is now a part of Aurora’s book of patient-centered care stories entitled “This Side Up.”

“Extra” goes to the heart of the great service.  It telegraphs affirmation.  William James, the famed psychologist, wrote:  “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” Extra says you are worth it.  Extra says, “I care enough to go the extra mile for you.”  What can you do to give your customers…extra?


About Chip&John

Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling books. Their newest book is "Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it."
This entry was posted in Great Service is ..., Service Magic, Take Their Breath Away. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Great Service is the Delivery of Extra

  1. Chip and John, another great learning! Marlene saw the gentleman in his 90′s as a person, not just another body to obtain money from. Customer service is all about helping people and Marlene understands that well. Kudos to her for listening, caring and acting with her heart and not the company’s pocket book. Richard Shapiro, The Center For Client Retention

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