How Much Is an Unpicked Nit Worth?

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Woman yelling in frustration with hands upAlmost every business has those petty items that can annoy your customers, contractors, suppliers, and others you depend on to complete projects. In a Harvard Business Review blog, Michael Schrage said his pet peeve is standing in line at Starbucks only to be delayed several seconds by each customer who does not have their payment ready when they reach the cash register. Could this irritant be resolved if Starbucks printed one of their perky signs that says, “As a courtesy to your fellow customers, please have payment ready when you order?”

How do you identify these pesky irritants for your customers and showrooms? Customer satisfaction surveys likely are not going to provide the answers, because most of the time those surveys are not designed to uncover pet peeves. Instead, they are geared toward uncovering more significant issues and problems. Surveys are designed to determine what makes customers happy or dissatisfied. They don’t ask, “What do we do that annoys you?”

It’s easy to write off those quirky issues that bother people. The serious complaints about lack of response time, ineffective fixes, and supply chain delays certainly would take precedence over something as petty as having to pay an upcharge for blue instead of white paint. Or maybe someone is irked that your showroom website has not been updated to reflect notable changes. Someone else may be irritated by the fact that you simply send too many emails, and they have shut you out more than you could imagine. How difficult is it to speak to a human being when prospects call your showroom? Do you have a standard for team members that mandates how long they can wait before responding to an email? An easy way to identify pet peeves is to ask your team to identify what they perceive inconveniences and irks customers. Maybe your team has their own pet peeves about the way your business operates? Uncovering these could help relieve your customers’ issues as well.

How much is an unpicked nit worth? Plenty, and you can make yourself look like a hero if you dig into the small things that annoy prospects and customers. It’s worth the effort. Profits, not the devil, are in the details.