The Butterfly Effect of Customer Service

In his book The Butterfly Effect, Andy Andrews reviews the lives of well-known and unknown (to the general public) and discusses the power of seemingly insignificant actions leading to something greater of significance.  An action begets an action, and the process keeps going.  Every action impacts something down the line.

In the Recreation/Wellness customer service environment, the butterfly effect is a very fragile and valuable.  When customers are buying a subscription or membership service, they are giving the business the gift of their attention for what can be presumed as multiple visits.  There are opportunities to make the experience great, just ok, or below customer expectations.

If service can meet or exceed expectations, chances are the customers will be raving fans of your business and be advocates “on the outside”.  If the experiences are not great, they can be “energetic enemies” within their circle of influence.

The butterfly effect of services is akin to dealing with an emotional bank account.  Staff can make deposits each day building up interest (i.e. goodwill); fail on a delivery occasionally withdrawing from their account; or overdrawing the account because of poor service, and the customer walks out never to return, but with plenty to say (not good things either).

Within these multiple visits that you hope to get from the customer, strive to do the following:

  • ask what they are looking to get from your business
  • say hello and goodbye using their name….personalize their experiences
  • make sure public areas and service counters are clean and organized (no outdated information, no misspellings on information)
  • make good on what you promise the customer…if you are open at 6am, be open at 6a!
  • if you screwed up, admit it, apologize, and strive for immediate customer recovery
  • ask if they enjoyed their visit and who they connected with today (trainer, coach, friend, instructor, etc.)
  • if they bring a complaint or issue to your attention, look to address it (see my previous blog on Owning the Customer) and let them know how it turned out
  • build relationships with the customers during slow transaction processing periods
  • send handwritten thank you notes, celebration cards, etc….
  • be a resource for the customer, you are the perceived expert about the organization….your customers do not care about your organizational chart

Be effective at these, be great at these, and you have a chance to create raving fans.  Retaining customers + free word-of-mouth marketing=WIN, WIN!

I would love to hear your ideas on how to improve service.  Have a great day!



Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

Brothers should bunk

-I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

-If interested in having me work with your organization on coaching, leadership, or customer service, please call me at 513.330.0319 or email at


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