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Jeff Noel is a friend and client with whom I’ve had the privilege to help work on his websites and presentation. This TED talk he recently gave is about how going the extra mile is a flawed concept and what to do instead.

These are lessons that I learned but couldn’t quite name when I used to work in social media-based customer service. I suppose, at that time, it could have gone by the concept name “delighting the customer”, but even that isn’t as specific as it could be.

With the phrase “go the extra inch”, you get an immediate sense of helping someone “just enough” to get a “wow” response without overwhelming yourself with the expectations of “going the extra mile” constantly.

Going the extra inch regularly ensures that there is occasional room for going the extra mile for those types of situations that really require that level of service to be resolved correctly.

Give Jeff’s TEDx talk a listen. You’ll be glad you did.

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Rob Watson is a Web professional. Beginning in 1996 as a self-taught web designer, he now owns and operates a web creative agency named If you need website coordination (a.k.a. "webmastering"), media production, social media, and SEO, ask Rob for help!

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