I'm old enough to remember the introduction of credit cards and for as long as I can remember, we've always had a Barclaycard.
Nowadays, we pay it off each month and pay no charges but this month things got a bit disturbed and I missed the payment deadline.
No sooner had I fessed up to my partner, she got a phone call from Barclaycard saying, and I don't know what reasons they gave, that yes we missed the payment, yes the next statement will show charges, but they would remove those charges and would we like to set up a phone SMS reminder?
If we successfully pay on time every month, Barclaycard makes no money out of us at all. So their motivation was pure service and perhaps a knowledge that they are in a long game. I don't know, maybe they make money at the retailer end.
Anyway, there is a thing called the psychology of reciprocation and it means that where we were feeling really bad that we'd wasted £20 or whatever the charge was, after their call we felt they'd really made a special effort on our behalf, so WE NOW FEEL WE OWE THEM.
Our loyalty shot through the roof.
Would we ever change credit card? No.
So the lesson is this. Be nice and your customers will be nice back.
That's not routine nice. If you promise next day delivery, delivering the next day is not being nice, that gets you to zero. Delivering in the hour slot you said you would, or providing detailed tracking .. superior service .. might.
But the difference between Marks & Spencer and John Lewis is that when M&S send an email saying "we missed you but left your parcel safely in your porch" (we haven't got a porch) and we call and nothing happens and they want us to keep calling back, our reaction is "we won't be doing that again". With John Lewis we called to say "hey, this batch of lights is different to the other batch of lights" they said, "oh sorry about that, we'll send another". We asked "do you want us to send back these wrong uns?", they said "no, it's OK, keep them" and our love for John Lewis blossomed because they don't know, but my partner is disabled and the hassle of sending back can cost her a morning.
Be above and beyond, personally nice.