Tell them…

If you are going to be quick to complain then it is my opinion that you should also be quick to compliment.  I understand how easy it is to complain when something doesn’t meet your expectations – particularly if you are a customer paying for whatever it is that isn’t meeting your expectations.  One of my personal pet peeves is my perception that too many companies have forgotten the value of satisfied customers.  Word-of-mouth endorsements are the most powerful advertisements out there.

Recently I have noticed a new trend at a number of retail and food service establishments – the empowerment of employees at the lowest levels to resolve customer issues without a lot of run-around or managerial intervention.  I like that.  I like that a lot.

Because I have expectations regarding customer service, I try and compliment the folks who I interact with who do a good job serving customers.  Sometimes those compliments are made directly to them and sometimes they are made to a manager or corporate headquarters.  I also try to be extra nice to the folks who are being extra nice to others in the course of their job.  I feel privileged to be a third person observer to interactions where folks are being good souls – it warms my heart to see these small acts of humanity throughout busy days.  When I see these things I feel compelled to recognize the person’s kindness.

I just don’t think we do enough of that as a society any more.  We are all so busy and distracted that we miss the small efforts being made that can make the difference in a person’s day.  I know that when I interact with a person who is kind, gracious, or extraordinarily helpful, I walk away from the interaction with a happy feeling that I have made a pleasant micro-connection.  Such an interaction can place a positive spin on an otherwise dreary day.

So have expectations, but when folks meet or exceed them – tell them…tell their boss…say thank you.  I do believe if more folks acknowledged positive interactions, it would become a multiplier that resulted in more positive interactions. Plus, businesses need to know that often the most powerful impression is made by their folks on the front line – not just by virtue of complaints, but by the effort of customers to applaud good customer service. ;-)

Day one thousand three hundred and sixty of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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3 Responses to Tell them…

  1. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Back in my days as a VP in the service industry, I equipped my managers and every associate I came in contact with this: “If there is a customer situation that lands on my desk, you KNOW I’m going to take care of them. Please fix the problem before it comes to that.”

    And they usually did.

  2. B-Dubya says:

    Regarding customer service, my mother always told us this: “You know that you’d take the time to complain about poor service, so always take time to compliment good service.” When service is outstandingly good, I put it in writing.

  3. Brianne says:

    When I worked as a cashier at Target in high school I got pulled aside by upper management one day in the middle of my shift. I was terrified at 16 that I had done something wrong. My regional manager was there and commended me in the fact that a customer asked for the highest manager they could speak with and left a comment card about me and how great I was as a cashier. It was such a boost! I actually ended up winning the Employee of the Year award at the Bismarck branch that year too (voted on by fellow employees). It means something to tell someone they are doing a good job. Even if the person is working a small job at minimum wage, small boosts like that at any point can bring maximum results for future jobs!

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