Which is more important: the last mile or the extra mile?
A couple months ago, I wrote about first and last impressions, posing a similar question there: which is more important?
Today I’m wondering about the last mile and the extra mile. Which one should you focus on more? Which is more impactful to the customer experience? Which one creates raving fans? Or, at least, happy customers?
Let’s start with some definitions.
What do we mean by “the extra mile?” According to FreeDictionary.com, to go the extra mile means: to try harder to please someone or to get the task done correctly; to do more than one is required to do to reach a goal; to make more effort than is expected of you. Of course, we knew that; we talk about that all the time when we describe what companies do to delight or to deliver a superior customer experience. Stan Phelps gives us a lot of examples of how great companies consistently go the extra mile for their customers and their employees.
What about “the last mile?” This is a phrase mentioned much less often in our world; hence, my question, is it as important as the extra mile? According to Investopedia, the last mile is: a phrase used in the telecommunications and technology industries to describe the technologies and processes used to connect the end customer to a communications network. I suppose I’ll equate this to doing it right, getting it there. Or quite simply, delivering at the moment of fulfillment, as in, making sure customers get what they expected to get. So, in the telecom industry example, the phone lines come into my home, and I can make and receive calls. There’s no delight there. It works; it just does what it’s supposed to do. I’m happy.
Do you see my dilemma?
There are those who argue that companies don’t need to put forth the extra effort – or go the extra mile – to delight, that they should simply spend more time just getting things right. In the HBR article, Stop Trying to Delight Customers, the authors state:
According to conventional wisdom, customers are more loyal to firms that go above and beyond. But our research shows that exceeding their expectations during service interactions (for example, by offering a refund, a free product, or a free service such as expedited shipping) makes customers only marginally more loyal than simply meeting their needs.
Does that then support focusing on the last mile?
Forrester has stated that there are three requirements of a great customer experience; it must be…
So, it’s enjoyable; customer effort is low; and it meets your needs.
Does that also support focusing on the last mile? Or both?
I have to draw some parallels to my first/last impression post, in which I said: You won’t get one without the other. There won’t be a last impression if you don’t get the first impression right. You know what you need to do.
Which is most important? Well, I think you can’t have one without the other. You can’t go the extra mile if you haven’t completed the last mile.
You know what you need to do.
There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. -Roger Staubach
How to Be Smart About Paying for Health Care Today and in the Future
6 Tips for Creating a Positive Customer Service
How to Design a B2B Website That Generates Real Results
3 Ways to Discover What Will Add Value to Your Financial Life
The Robotics Evolution: What Will Work Look like in the Future?
10 Questions Advisors Must Consider Before Podcasting
Being More Effective By Doing a Pulse-Schedule!
How to Spend More Time Working On Your Business
3 Things Every Manager Must Do in December
Investment Grade Bonds Behave as Expected During Recent Bout of Market Volatility
Equities11 hours ago
Bubble, Meet Pin; It’s Just the Beginning of the Downslide
Market Strategist11 hours ago
Don’t Be Boxed Into Style Boxes
Development11 hours ago
As an Advisor, Are You “The Great Communicator?”
Equities1 day ago
This Is the End of Trump’s Economic Sugar High
Development1 day ago
When You Cannot Think of a Better Way to Market Yourself, Try This…
Global1 day ago
It’s Time to Reconsider Risk
Forward-Looking Investing2 days ago
2019 Outlook: Don’t Fight the People’s Bank of China!
Financial Podcasts2 days ago
How to Qualify Prospects and Increase Your Success Rate