Going The Extra Mile

As you might have guessed, if you have been reading this blog over the past few weeks, I am a big fan of learning from others. One of the most game-changing lessons I have learned recently, came from experienced translator and translation company director, Nick Rosenthal. At a seminar on keeping your clients happy, he mentioned a simple idea: try to give your customers the +1 treatment.


What’s a +1? Well, it’s similar to the idea Jesus taught when he said that if a soldier asks you to carry their pack one mile, you should carry it two. (Matthew 5: 41). It basically means that, no matter the situation, no matter the person, you should always give people a little more than they expect.


What might that mean? Well, imagine you repair computers. We all know how difficult it can be when we are without our beloved machine for a few days while it goes to the shop for a tune-up or fix. What if, for repairs that will take a while, you not only did the repair promptly and well but you offered a courtesy machine to use in the meantime?


Imagine you are a translator or interpreter. What if your clients knew that your jobs always turned out a little better they expected? What if, when you weren’t available, you not only told your clients as soon as possible but recommended a few colleagues who could fill in for you? What if you took an active interest in the importance of your work for the client and used that info to make it even more useful for them?


Imagine you are a retailer. What if you not only made great products but offered first-class customer service? What if, when there is a problem of some sort, you not only kept your customers up-to-date but found a solution, even if it meant bending a few of your normal rules to make it work? What if it was always easy to talk to a human being, without having to go through a maze of options and clicks? What if all of your staff were empowered to push that extra bit harder to make sure that everything worked perfectly for the customer and goods arrived on time, no matter the weather or trading situation?


I am sure we would all love to work with businesses that go that extra mile for us. Here’s the shocking fact: our clients want suppliers like that too! Our families would love mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers like that. Our neighbours would love neighbours like that. (And thankfully, we have neighbours like that near us.)


There is a principle in that Bible that says that you reap what you sow (Galatians 6: 7). If we would like to deal with people who go the extra mile, we need to start the process by going the extra mile ourselves. If we would like suppliers that push that bit harder we need to push that bit harder for our clients. If we would like bosses who are that little bit nicer or more effective, you’ve guessed it, we need to be people who make their job that little bit easier.


Instead of getting caught up in the Christmas rush, how about spending five minutes thinking of how can give someone the +1 treatment. You’ll be surprised at just how much it can mean and how addictive it can be!


End note: you can find Nick on twitter, he is @nickrosenthal .


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