The Library Marketing - Thinking Outside the Book blog points to an interesting article on MarketingProfs.com called How to Create the Accidental Evangelist by Sean D'Souza. I agree that little things done at just the right time can make a big difference.
It's the really simple, yet genuine, things that make a difference to me. The generic birthday card from a company you barely do business with feels pointless and fake. I just got some more of them last week and I thought, what a waste of a stamp!
Today, decent service can sometimes seem remarkable because it's so rare. I don't understand people who can't at least reign in their grumpiness on the job. I mean, sure, everyone has bad days at work. But even when I'm having a bad day, I try not to take it out on the people I work with, or for (i.e. customers). But I don't get that in return often when I'm the customer. I'm usually happy if a salesperson, waiter, etc. is friendly. Not overly gushy, just naturally friendly. It's something that's so simple, but it also makes such a big difference.