By Jon Swanson
I rented a car on Hotwire. They gave me Avis as the best price. We got to the airport and the counter person said, “would you like a free upgrade to a convertible?” I was still flying and so I hesitated. “The weather will be much nicer this weekend,” she said. I agreed.
We walked out to the designated parking space and saw a silver Mustang convertible. “That’s not ours, is it?” said Nancy. Her eyes lit up. It was.
I told my dad. He got excited for us.
We went for a drive with the top down the next morning while waiting for friends, listening to birds, smelling trees, looking at an unfamiliar New England town. We got back to our hotel as they showed up. “A convertible? No way!”
He and I drove on I 495 with the top down. After playing at the park, we took the 6 and 8 year old for a ride.
More friends showed up. “A convertible?”
A couple days later, the three guys, not always known for being macho, climbed in the car to get meat for grilling.
Late that evening, a three-year-old got up. She had been sick all afternoon and hadn’t been around for the rides. It was dark, but the car was leaving in the morning. So we went for a ride, she and her dad in the back seat.
“The stars are following us,” she said softly.
It was a free upgrade, something that cost Avis nothing, and they already had been the lowest price rental agency. But their free upgrade changed lives.
What do you have, what can you offer a customer, what small thoughtful gesture can you make that will delight a three-year-old in Maine…or your town?
Jon Swanson is your customer, presenting every day perspectives in a new way. He was a regular contributor to the Great Big Small Business Show podcast, as the Entrepreneurial Chicken. Jon is the author of the best small business post ever.
[Photo by Jon on Flickr. Used with permission.]
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