Sometimes It’s the Little Things

September 10th, 2009

(Nah, it’s Pretty Much Always the Little Things)

I took my car in to the dealer be serviced this week. Just the routine 10,000-mile check-up. Everything went like clockwork and everyone was friendly and efficient, as per usual at Carter Volkswagen in the lovely Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

A few days later I missed a call from Carter. The message left on my voice mail was from an actual person in the Ballard office, rather than from some national VW call center, calling to make sure everything went smoothly and to see if there was anything else they could help me with. I was pretty impressed, and rather appreciative.

Source: Ken Paris @ Flickr

Source: Ken Paris @ Flickr

They know as well as I do that I didn’t need anything else – I just had the car serviced. But their taking the time to pick up the phone and make contact sent just the right message: We care about your satisfaction as a customer, and we’ll provide friendly, personal service whenever you need it.

Of course, it’s not like it suddenly occurred to that guy to call me. They’ve got mechanisms all set up so that people get a call two days after they bring their car in. And that’s exactly how it should be done: they clearly have a strategic communications plan that supports their business goals, one of which is providing friendly, personal service to drive customer loyalty.

Every leader of a business, a division, a team, needs to think the same way about their internal audiences: what are my business goals and how can I consistently communicate with my employees in order to help reach those goals? What mechanisms do I need to put in place in order for that to happen like clockwork, every time? How might I surprise and delight them in a way that drives loyalty, motivation and productivity?

Think about the last time you had a positive experience as a customer, and how you might take the essence of that experience to transform your internal communications.

    • Write a Comment*

      • *Deb Arnold, Ink reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business.


Learning Program and Team Awards 2009-2014


ASTD Excellence in Practice

Technical Training Award
Training Management Citation (for new programs)
Learning Technology Citation
Workplace Learning & Collaboration–Leadership Development (x2) Award, Citation
Workplace Learning & Collaboration–Onboarding Citation
Sales Enablement Citation

Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning

Best Custom Content Gold
Best in Learning Strategy and Governance Gold
Best Leadership Development Program Gold
Best Innovation in Learning Technology Silver
Best Leadership Sales Training Silver
Best Integration of Learning and Talent Management Bronze
Best Use of Games for Learning Bronze

Brandon Hall Technology Excellence

Best Advance in Social Learning Technology Gold

CLO Magazine Learning in Practice

Technology Innovation Gold, Division 1
Innovation Gold, Division 1
Business Impact Gold, Division 2
Business Impact Bronze, Division 2


Learning Organization Ranking Awards


American Society for Training & Development

ASTD BEST #1 (up from #32 in one year)
#2 (up from #37 in two years)

ELearning! Media Group

Learning! 100 #1 (first year on list)

Chief Learning Officer Magazine

LearningElite #1, #4

Training Magazine

 Training Top 125 #1, #2 (up from #41 in one year)