I freely admit to being one of the most demanding customers a business will ever encounter.

Why not? The way I see it, when I’m reaching into my wallet to pull out a stacLightbulb64k of cash or a credit card, I have the right to expect the best possible experience and feel good about the money I’m spending.

When I work with smaller business, I’m always quick to point out how easy it is for them to create a culture in which everyone in the organization is dedicated to doing his or her share to provide an exceptional experience. I tell them providing an exceptional experience is an ultimate differentiator for smaller businesses.

I heard a story about an air conditioning technician who came to the home to perform spring maintenance on an A/C unit. He noticed one of the light bulbs in the furnace area had burned out. He asked the homeowner if she had another light bulb. She did and he installed it.

He then asked if any other bulbs in the house needed to be changed. She pointed to an outdoor spotlight on the second floor. The technician went to his truck, brought back a ladder, and changed the bulb.

The technician was creating an exceptional experience for that homeowner. Although the A/C unit is operating at top efficiency, what the homeowner will remember and tell her friends and neighbors for years to come is how the technician changed the light bulb.

What the homeowner didn’t know is that it is the responsibility of every field technician to proactively look for something extra they could do to create that exceptional experience and leave that lasting impression.

I know from experience that creating a culture in which everyone within the organization is providing an exceptional experience can truly benefit that business’ bottom line. I also know from experience that creating that kind of culture works best when it’s top down and bottom up.

The CEO who takes a different group of employees to lunch every Tuesday to listen to ideas (and complaints) supports the culture because the CEO is actually creating an exceptional experience for employees.

And when departments within the organization take time on a regular basis to think about and talk about ways of providing exceptional experiences for customers and prospects, the marketplace will reward that business handsomely because creating an exceptional experience is both fun and profitable.