They say that we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. In life that’s right on the money, but when it comes to customer service, it’s the small things that make a huge difference and that can make or break the customer experience. So yes, it’s true – size does matter but not in the way you might have thought.

There are so many examples to illustrate my point so let’s start with the one that is most annoying. Any company who sends their customers a mailer and heads it “Dear Valued Client” is just not doing it right. In this age of technology, it’s so simple to personalise your communications and such a small thing, for very little cost to company, goes a long way to making people feel special.How many of us get given a bad cup of instant coffee while we wait for an appointment. Nice gesture but no one’s got time for bad coffee. When they offer you a coffee or if luck will have it, a cappuccino, then they better make sure it’s the real deal.Then there are the car dealers who drop off your new car with a tank that’s half full. That’s just not on! Or the call centre from a leading financial services company that calls to offer additional services in a voice that sounds like they’re so not happy to be calling, and then when you decline the offer, just hangs up.Nothing annoys customers more than a bad call centre and let’s not get started on getting through to the DSTV call centre. No matter how good their TV programmes and offerings are, it’s a nightmare to get through all the options to get hold of anyone. Talk about ruining the magic for their customers in one easy step!If you really want to “wow” your customers then don’t save costs when trying to go the extra mile. It cancels out any good will you might be hoping to create. If you are going to embark on giving your customers a great experience then do it properly or don’t do it at all.Delivering a great experience is all about making your customers feel special – not about ticking a box. It’s essential to connect with your customers on an emotional level in order to establish a lasting relationship with your brand. Rather than just delivering your product or service, aim to develop strong bonds with your customers.To do this you need to provide them with a unique customer experience by proactively anticipating your customers’ needs and expectations and exceeding them, every time. Look at your service offering through the customer’s point of view. Often companies use their business or financial point of view to investigate the service offering and this is where they fall short.Doing things differently for your customers could cost you (but often it doesn’t), but it makes the world of difference to your customer experience and in turn will reap huge rewards for you.I was delighted this past week by Mr Price Homestore. I purchased some feather pillows from them and naturally threw away the plastic wrapping and the slip, as who needs to return feather pillows? Well, these smelt like the goose had somehow ended up in the pillow, along with its feathers.

I went into the Cavendish branch and while waiting to speak to the manager, I stood across from a strategically placed sign that stated their returns policy. Words like “sales slip” and “original packaging” were in bold letters. I was thinking “What are my chances” but was so pleasantly surprised. Rene, the store manager on duty, was very accommodating and my pillows were exchanged with no questions asked.

Just an example of the emotional connection and empowering your staff to create “wow” moments. Word of mouth is so powerful and of course I will tell all my friends about this…I just did!