STOP! Leaving Money on the Table

By Daniel Beaule, Service 2000

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a few hundred to thousands of dollars just by making small changes in your organization that could have a big impact? What if your customers were waiting to give this extra money to you with a smile?

In the book “The Small BIG: small changes that spark big influence”, the author Steve Martin (not the comedian) discusses triggers to influence people and provides powerful examples on how to influence people with only small changes.

Although we will not go through all the theory, let’s discuss one example, related to the amount of tips a waiter receives his service quality. The goal of the study was to identify the impact of giving candy mints to customers relative to the tip they leave the waiter. The test began by measuring the average tip a waiter receives. The impact of giving one mint with the bill increased the tip by 3.3%. When two mints were given to the customer, the average tip increased by 12.3% compared to the base tip. What an increase! But wait for this: a third test was done where the waiter gave one mint with the bill, walked back two steps and then came back and said: “You know what, for you I’ll make it special and give you two mints”. The impact was the tip increased by 23.4%!!!

How much money are we leaving on the table every day?

As business owners, we have the tendency to step into action and repair the appliance. Sometimes we forget the big picture of managing the perception that we just gave an outstanding level of service. Let me suggest some actionable ideas to start becoming efficient and making happier customers. In order to test small changes, make sure to measure the performance before changing anything, identify a quantifiable small change and then measure again to compare. Try not to change anything else so your test data isn’t skewed.

Test these small changes:

  • How saying “Thank you for trusting us” affects the number of customer testimonials posted on content aggregation websites
  • How smiling over the phone changes your call conversion rate
  • How using a wait list (call list if a free time slot frees up) changes your capacity to book calls when you are a few days ahead

Finally, I invite you to suggest ideas that can help professionalize the industry and become more efficient. After all, everybody wins with these improvements.

Daniel is a Gazelles international Certified Business coach who teaches business owners and teams of executives how to accelerate their business without damaging their people, cash and culture. He is also president of Service 2000 appliance located in the Montreal Area, Canada.

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