or... How going the extra step combined with a little humility makes all the difference in the world.
Today I had a crapload, yes - really a CRAPload, of lumber delivered for a deck we are having built. I chose a local company, Warren County Lumber, to be our vendor because they are a bit cheaper than the big guys, Lowe's and Home Depot, and they offer a little better customer service, making drops off-road (not just in your driveway) and they pick up job extras.
When the truck arrived today I asked the driver if he could drop the load in our back yard rather than in the driveway, he did not hesitate to say - "Yeah, no problem." I stood there for about half an hour, feeling kind of helpless, while watching him skillfully work his 8 foot wide forktruck about a dozen times through our 9 foot wide gate. I'm sure it was a pain in the ass doing so. He could have just as easily said no and dropped it all in our driveway avoiding the entire hassle. But instead he went the extra mile.
After he was done and I had signed off on the invoices I tried to give him a $20 tip, which he tried to refuse - "No, don't do that", he said. I insisted, telling him that the extra work he did was worth well more than $20 to me (probably 10 times that much, at least). I think that finally convinced him to take it.
Along with going the extra mile and being humble, the gentleman was also professional, polite and courteous. Warren County Lumber has earned a customer for life. Along with the deck addition, we are also going to be finishing our basement in the next couple of months - adding another bedroom, a family room, and a bathroom. That lumber and hardware order will probably be twice the amount of money the deck order was - guess who's going to get my business?