Saturday, November 10, 2012

Going That Extra Mile

How often have you experienced someone going "above and beyond"? It seems to be a rare occurrence these days, especially in a retail experience. (I don't think the mindless, robotic response, "Can I help you find something" thrown your direction by a busy salesman as they speed past you on their way to the mysterious "back room" counts.)

When it does happen, when you find yourself in front of someone who gives you their full attention, who really seems to want to help - and knows how to - it can give you tingles.

A number of months ago, Sasha Dichter, intrepid blogger and Chief Innovation Officer at the Acumen Fund shared a story of one such experience he had at an Apple store. His salesperson's name was Hakiem and his post was a letter of thanks addressed to him:
Dear Hakiem,
I know everything at the Apple Store is  designed to  be techno-blissful, but you really took things to the next level. Not only did you shake my hand, make me feel welcome, and help me get a Genius Bar appointment in less than five minutes, but you managed to make me feel just a little bit less bad about dropping my iPad on 6th avenue and cracking the screen (and I was feeling REALLY bad). 
I was already appreciative of you for that, but then as I was walking up 9th avenue, you ran out of the store and up to 15th street and stopped me to make sure that my problem had been solved. Wow. 
I bet you go above and beyond every day for folks, and I'm sure they appreciate it more than you know. I'll be sure to tell everyone who goes to the Apple Store at 4th and 9th in New York City to look out for you.
Okay. Why don't we all provide this sort of care and service? It has incredible impact just because it is so infrequent. And it really didn't take much for Hakiem to do it. Probably no more than a couple of minutes to run down the street and make sure Mr. Dichter was satisfied.

Think about how much time we spend in the fundraising profession researching, cultivating, soliciting -- hours and weeks, even years. And yet, we often overlook the truly personal and momentous act of going "above and beyond" that is not only very gratifying for the prospect, but it makes us feel so good as well.

Do it. Go the "extra mile" because it is so rarely done. Do it because it is the right thing to do. Do it for how it makes you feel. Our profession needs it. And frankly, the world needs it.

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