Use the Campsite Rule to deliver a better customer experience.
When I was growing up, my father would take the family camping for our summer vacations. As soon as we arrived at our designated campsite, we'd set up the tent trailer for Mom, Dad and my Sisters, and the pup tent for my brother and me. After a weekend or week's worth of camping activity within the area of ground that comprised our campsite, we'd pack up all of our camping gear, and get ready for the long drive home.
The last thing we did before getting into the family station wagon was to clean up the campsite for the next group of campers. This meant raking the site clean of leaves and pine needles, smoothing out any uneven areas of ground, and neatly staking any remaining firewood by the side of the fire pit. We called this activity "The Campsite Rule." Its purpose was to always leave the site a little bit neater than it was when we arrived. "Always leave it in better condition than you found it. If everyone did this," my father explained," everyone would have a better camping experience."
Recently, an appliance repairman came to our house to replace a part in the back of our refrigerator. In the process, he had to pull the fridge away from the wall, and with it, lot of the dust, crumbs and detritus that accumulated beneath and behind a refrigerator. When he finished the work, he pushed the refrigerator back into place, but left the mess in full view on the floor. The repairman had already left when I noticed this. My first reaction was, "This guy violated the Campsite Rule."
This is in contrast to the place where I have my car's oil changed. There, they always vacuum the floor mats as part of the process. Now, vacuuming the floor mats is completely removed from the mechanical process of changing the oil, but they do it anyway for one simple reason - it makes the vehicle neater than it was before I brought it in of the oil change. In a word, they apply the "Campsite Rule."
Just as failing to clean up after yourself is an easy way to disappoint a customer, purposefully cleaning up beyond the scope of your work is an easy way to impress a customer.
The point is this: Find ways to apply the Campsite Rule in your business, to delight your customers.
What small thing can you do - something the customer will notice, that's also outside the core scope of your service - that the customer will appreciate?
If every vendor did this, every customer would have a better experience.