THE best customer service tip ever

… stellar customer service = pinky swearing

I’m going to tell you THE secret to incredible customer service, customer retention and word of mouth referrals.

It’s quite complicated so you’ll want to print off this post and hang it somewhere where you can refer to it every day.

If you’ve got music playing or some other distraction around you — turn it off/put it away so you can fully concentrate on the concept I am about to unveil before your very eyes.


Pinky Swear.

When we were kids, if you pinky swore — that was a blood oath, a die or do it sort of thing.  There were no asterisks, exceptions, small type or exclusions.  It was a pinky swear. Enough said.

If you want your customers to rave about you and to come back time and time again — pinky swear.

If you are so old that you don’t remember pinky swearing — let me translate it for you.

Do what you say you’re going to do.  Every time.  No exceptions.

Go forth….and pinky swear.  Your customers will love you for it.


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21 comments on “THE best customer service tip ever

  1. Cheryl Laughlin says:

    Awesome insight… next time I have to ask someone to fix a mistake on an order, I’ll ask them to “pinky swear with no takebacks” that they’ll fix it! :]

    1. Cheryl,

      Not only will you get a laugh but I’ll bet you get that pinky swear!


  2. Julie says:

    This is great! Just purchased a Mac from an Apple Store a couple of weeks ago. Graduated college a year ago, and am in my first job in Marketing, but planning to go back for my Masters soon. I had to “pinky swear” (literally) with the Apple employee on going back to school…and he gave me the college discount! I was sold! It works!! 🙂

    1. Julie,

      Ohhh I love that an Apple employee did that. Talk about a brand moment!


  3. Kneale Mann says:

    Okay let me get this straight. You are suggesting, Drew that we make a promise then keep it? Wow, that is revolutionary and so new it may just work. So if you tell a customer or client you are going to do something, you should actually do it. Sounds almost simple enough for everyone to do it. That’s probably coming soon.

    1. Kneale —

      I know, I know — I’m a radical. All this crazy talk. But you and I both know, it doesn’t happen very often.

      Which is why we can/should do it. Actually doing what you say you’ll do is a competitive advantage!


  4. Briana says:

    Great piece. We couldn’t agree more here at Zemoga. In fact, our CEO wrote a piece on the exact subject in April of 2010 – – which you and your readers might find interesting.

    1. Briana,

      Excellent story — thanks so much for sharing it! If HBO can do business on a pinky swear, we all can!


      1. Briana says:

        I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It was one of the first stories I heard about Zemoga, before I came on board and it definitely made me know it was going to be my kind of place to work.

        With more and more digital tools playing larger parts of our every day lives, we forget how such a simple, human thing – a pinky swear, a handshake – can take us so very far.

        1. Briana,

          What I love about the story is that it required some trust on both sides — but when we take that leap of faith together, it makes the relationship forged in that moment all the stronger.

          Sounds like they are an awesome company to be a part of — congrats on getting there.


  5. As they say, honesty is always the best policy. Customers want to know that you are going to do what you say, without later conditions, restrictions, reconsiderations, etc. And not just once, but every single time they interact with you or your company.
    I love your concept of pinky swearing. It’s simple and to the point. But most of all, it reminds us of a time in our childhood when our promise meant everything. You just didn’t break a pinky swear.
    There is no reason why customer service needs to be overly complicated. Pinky swear and hold yourself to that promise.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Kelsey,

      You make a good point. It’s not a one time deal. If you’re going to make the pinky swear — it’s an all or none commitment.

      Simple and yet pretty profound. Not a bad combination. Maybe we were smarter as kids than we thought!


  6. Sheila says:

    Every customer service representative should be told this! They should be reminded of that oh-s0-sacred oath of our precious childhood.

    1. Sheila,

      And hopefully — that customer service can have an element of fun and playfulness to it. The human element!


  7. Lynda Lim says:

    That’s a really cute and light-hearted way to making improvements. I used to wear pinky ring with my best friend back in college to remind us of our close friendship. That said, the pinky finger represents friendship and this might just change the whole customer/ client dynamics.

    1. Lynda,

      And hopefully it can remind all of us that this isn’t rocket science. Do what you say you will do. That’s what it takes to earn a customer’s trust. Doesn’t seem like a big stretch to me!


  8. Okay Drew, let’s see; You are suggesting that we make a promise then keep it? No way!, that is astonishing that it may just work for us. Sounds so simple that anyone in business could stick to this code of ethics, RIGHT! Thanks for sharing your insights.

    1. Mickey —

      I know….crazy talk! Call me a rebel!


  9. Michael Josephson says:

    Outstanding. Very clever. Great simple message.

  10. Kristen,

    I’m glad this was helpful and it got you thinking. Come back and let us know how it goes!


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