A few weeks ago, my wife and I were planning to meet some friends at a restaurant in a rural area of upstate New York. Although I have a GPS system in my car that is fairly reliable in major cities, often when we are somewhere more remote, the voice of the nice GPS lady will say, “your route is in an area where roads cannot be accurately mapped or directions provided.”
We heard the restaurant was located in a charming inn overlooking a stream and we were eager to meet our friends and arrive on time. Not sure of the directions (and getting no help from our GPS) we pulled into a fire station where a maintenance man was loading some fuel cans.
We asked the gentleman how to get to the inn and he was more than willing to provide us with the information. Not only did he give us detailed instructions, with landmarks along the way, he also told us to ignore the detour signs along one portion of the road. He said the road is closed, but not for at least a mile beyond where the inn was located.
As we traveled, there were at least 5 signs that said, “road closed ahead, please detour.” Every one we passed, I thought to myself, “I should have thanked the man not only for the directions, but also for the additional useful and valuable information he gave us.”
The trip to the inn could have been an extremely frustrating experience, but instead we were able to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery as we traveled through the winding roads.
If you own or manage a business, make sure to train your associates to take the additional time to tell your customers about any “detours.” The information will be appreciated and remembered long after the detours are gone.
Providing one-word responses rarely helps to create or build customer loyalty, so go the extra mile.