Our friend Shaun Smith, of Smith+co in London, shared with us his favorite Lexus story as an example. A BMW owner walked into a Lexus dealership and announced that he was considering changing automobile brands. He had seen an ad about Lexus’ legendary service. But first he had a service question for the Lexus salesperson.

“Earlier this week I took my BMW in for routine maintenance. In the process they removed the ashtray to clean it but forgot to put it back. When I discovered it was missing, I called the BMW service manager. He said they had indeed found the wayward ashtray shortly after I left and would be happy to hold it up from in the office for me to pick up at my convenience. Now, how would you have handled this situation?”

The Lexus sales person replied, “Well, sir, it would not have happened since we have a 54-item checklist that includes replacing the ashtray after cleaning. But, if it were to have happened, we would not have waited for you to call us.”

The BMW owner smiled and left the showroom.

That afternoon after work, the Lexus salesperson drove to the BMW dealership, picked up the customer’s ashtray, and surprised him with it at the front door of his home!

Customers today want value. And, a major component of that value is the experience you create. If Lexus ran your business, how would the customer experience change?