Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Business & Finance
  3. Industry

The mathematics of customer connections

See also

My wife is a high school mathematics teacher. And, in one of her classes, the students work all year on an extensive data analysis project. These are not some “ask 10 friends which phone they like” research project. The data sets can contain hundreds of elements and the analysis the kids are required to write can be of several pages and full of mathematics formulas and statistical reasoning. It is more than I ever remember doing in high school.

One of this year’s projects caught my attention. This particular student works in a local steakhouse. She wanted to know if putting a small note on the check would gain the server more tips. She asked and received permission from the manager and found three volunteers, all experienced servers. For 10 days, the servers placed a short and personal hand-written note on the bill -- Something to the affect of – Thank you for coming! Suzie and Glad I could serve you this evening! Henry. Then for the following 10 days, there were no notes.

What the student found was when the servers left a note; they received 5% more in tips than when there was no note. Through her research, she discovered a key principal in providing a favorable customer experience – Personal Connections.

Customers like to feel they are special -- like they are our only customers. Think about why you return the same restaurants, or visit the same dry-cleaners. Or, more importantly, think about the places you have NOT returned to. More than likely it was the level of personal connection you received.

Personal connections build familiarity, which strengthens emotional loyalty. When customers feel an emotional bond with companies, they are more likely to do more business them, are more forgiving, and will offer favorable recommendations to friends.

Making the experience personal is more than just providing good service. It is making a personal connection with the customer. It is a well-established fact that companies creating favorable customer experiences are more successful that those that do not. My wife’s student discovered personal connections are important in creating positive experiences. She also discovered that it does not take a lot of effort to make a connection. The simple act of leaving a small personal note was enough to improve the bottom line of the servers at the steakhouse.

Granted, had the service been awful, a small gesture would not have made any difference. But, as the student’s research shows, making connections can improve a customer’s experience and a company’s bottom line. Math is a wonderful thing!



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!