Moments that Matter

By Mark Matteson - August 5, 2019

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Many years ago I was an HVAC technician and, in my first year, was assigned the task of pressure washing a set of condensing coils on the roof of a grocery store on Capitol Hill in Seattle, an upscale part of town. It was a 90-degree day in late August. To make matters worse, it was a Friday around 4:30pm. I was wet, dirty, tired and I was anxious to get home, knowing full well I had at least another hour to finish up.

An elderly gentleman in coveralls and an old, worn straw hat approached me as I came down the ladder. "Whatcha' doin', sonny?" he asked. At that moment, it would have been easy to dismiss his inquiry and say something curt or rude. After all, I was tired.

However, I decided to smile and explain what and why I was doing what I was doing. His body language told me he appreciated my gesture. He then exclaimed, "That's great, I'm glad you're doing this. It's important. You see, my son runs the store for me. In fact, I own the whole block. Keep up the good work!" On the drive home, it occurred to me, "You just never know!" He didn't look like a millionaire.

But it was a moment that mattered.

Moments that matter are the dozens of tiny, daily interactions that occur when we come in contact with our customers. We sometimes forget that it costs $7 to GET a new customer, but only $1 to KEEP an existing customer!

Keeping customers delighted and letting them know how valuable they are is as rain is to dry flowers. Appreciating the customer is everyone's responsibility. Great service means asking great questions in the moment that matters, like:

  • "What will it take to make you happy?"
  • "What would you like us to do?"
  • "You have a right to feel the way you do. How can we make it right?"

Great service means being flexible and willing to change, and never being content with the status quo. It means continuously investing in education and growing people. It means guarding against those twin thieves: Arrogance and Complacency. Great service means treating every person in your organization with dignity and respect.

There are many days when you won't feel like providing great service. It happens to all of us. You'd rather just take a nap. But you know, you just never know when a Moment… will Matter!

"The purpose of business is to get and keep customers." -Theodore Levitt


Mark Matteson

Bestselling Author of Freedom from Fear and A Simple Choice

Mark Matteson is an international speaker and best-selling author of 15 books. He has been called "The Oracle of Optimism", "A Superlative Street Scholar", "An Intense Idea-Reporter". Mark travels 250 days a year around the globe delivering 75 "Edu-Training" Keynotes, Seminars, Panel Discussions and Workshops a year. Mark is a gifted storyteller, using self-effacing humor, high levels of interaction and powerful and proven business principles to inspire audiences to the highest levels of productivity and profit. Mark leaves audiences wanting more…he began his career in HVAC in 1976.