Customer Service, the little things that mean a lot!

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Joette Giardina

Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.

Little things mean a lot snoopy

Customer Service, the little things that mean a lot!

Over the last week I have had the opportunity to observe wonderful customer service and a little not so wonderful customer service and I wanted to share my experiences. Ever since I purchased my balloon business in 2003 I have become more aware of the type of customer service I receive, waitresses while dining with my family, cashiers, to medical staff. In each situation it reminds me of the good things I want to make a part of my business, and the things I wish to avoid.

I experienced this week that Customer Service, the little things mean a lot many times! A week ago Monday I got a call that my dad was having a medical issue that was in need of attention, and my Marketing Hat for Party People Events all got hung up as I dove into daughter mode to resolve my dads medical issue. You may wonder what does this have to do with running a balloon business? Customer Service is KEY to making our clients have that warm fuzzy feeling that you care about them, and that makes them repeat clients.

When we took my dad to the Emergency room at 10 pm, they did an evaluation…checking out all the KEY things that needed to be done, so they could solve the immediate problem quickly.

When People call me for a Quote – I don’t just rattle off prices, even when they Ask for a specific quote.

Take the time to “make an evaluation”

I’d be glad to give you a quote, just need a little information first to make sure I quote the correct things.

  1. Your name
  2. Email address
  3. Phone number (can I text this number)
  4. Date of Event
  5. Start and end time
  6. Location

Now some people who are Price shoppers ask, “why do you need all this info?”

To follow up and give you a written quote I need to make sure staff is available for the date of your event, and that you are having it in a location we service. When we went to the hospital my dad most wanted pain relief immediately…however they needed key information to be able to relieve the pain. The admitting nurse was very nice and joked some with my dad.

When we moved from the ER into a Hospital room there was a large board up on the wall, they wrote down key things like What Name my dad preferred to go by, Captain is what he requested. He is a retired airline Captain and when people refer to him as such it makes him feel good. During the week Dad had many different Dr’s, nurses and therapist come in and work with him most of them referred to him as Raymond Meyers, or Mr. Meyers. The exception to the rule was Sam. Sam was a young man who was my dads nurse for 3 days. First thing he did when he walked in the room was look at the board and see that Dad liked to be called Captain. He said good morning Captain, what type of Captain are you? He immediately connected with my dad by showing interest and asking a leading question.

Do you ask leading questions to provide your clients better service?

Sam had a smile on his face every time he entered my Dads room, you could tell he was extremely busy balancing all his patients on the floor, but he made sure to make a personal connection every time he was in the room, and my Dad started to refer to him as, “Sam the Man”. Reminded me when people call me Joette the Balloon Lady. They know if it has to do with Balloons we have them covered.

Do you make your clients feel like they are your #1 focus?

Too many times our schedules are crazy balancing multiple events, trying to get out quotes, service currently clients, get out billing and balance family. When you are on the phone or in a meeting with a client…they need to FEEL Like they are your #1 priority. Connect with them and focus on their needs – don’t fill them in on all your problems. Your job as the event professional is to put them at ease, (not to share your problems and struggles)

OVER THE TOP Customer Service!

Do you just get by, doing what you client request…or do you look at a situation and provide OVER THE TOP Customer service?

My Dad is 74 years old, he has many medical issues, 5 years ago suffered heart attack after a gallbladder surgery at his local hospital and I road in the medical transport to a hospital 80 miles from his home to get him the services he needed for heart surgery. So going into procedures now is a bit concerning, as he went in for one procedure and after 6 weeks in a hospital went through 2 and a lot of painful recovery time! My father has a cat at home that is his comfort, Monkey can do no wrong as he always is there for my dad when he recovers at home after a procedure. I wanted to get dad a stuffed cat to have at the hospital as a gift from Marlee, my daughter, but when I could not find one I purchased a Monkey…to be cute and to represent “Monkey” for him at the hospital.

Little did I know how well the staff would react to this…A 74 yr old man with a stuffed animal. Dad would squeeze it when he had pain…and talk to it when he was nervous, and use it as a conversation starter when meeting the multiple new staff over the week. On Sunday morning as the Tech came to take dad down to the OR I said does the monkey need to stay in the room too as I took off his watch, he said, “it can ride down to pre opp and then you can have it in the waiting room till he is done”.

When we walked into pre opp and they placed dads bed in the area to start his blood transfusion the tech. Bobby, said, “first things first we need to get this lady a chair” He pulled up a chair next to my dads bed so we could talk during the hour prep and blood transfusion prior to surgery.

Then the nurse asked about the monkey, she listened as dad told the story that it’s a gift from his Granddaughter and represents his cat at home. As she put the surgery cap on my dad, she grabs another one at puts it on monkey! Man talk about OVER THE TOP customer service! She nailed it, huge smile on my dads face and dad said, can he come in with me…she said YES I’ll take care of Monkey for you. Not sure if Monkey was in the room during the procedure but I think it may of been if not they did a great job putting it right back under his arm in the recovery area!

monkey hat

Take 10 minutes and think back to your last interactions with a client. Are you providing the little things that mean a lot? Do your staff?

What are the Little things?

  • Smile (before you pick up the phone or talk with a client in person)
  • Focus on your clients needs
  • Listen and respond to clients needs
  • Make client feel good
  • Possibly make them laugh or smile
  • Instill confidence that you will take great care of them
  • Call them by Name
  • Provide best service possible
  • Provide added value
  • Thank them for choosing you to provide their service
  • Follow up after the event

I hope that the next time you are having a rushed day and when you hear the phone ring and have a thought of UGH…Take a second, take a deep breath and remember that The Little things…mean a lot to your client!

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Joette Lime and Teal March 2016 post

Joette Giardina, CBA

Mentor, Motivator, Speaker.

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