I have spent a good deal of my time lately, observing and writing about the seemingly ever-growing proliferation of bad customer service in North America. I have written about my own specific experiences with bad service; I have reported on Intellectual studies on bad service, and I have made recommendations on how to improve bad service. I have, grumbled, groused and whinged about the poor customer service we all experience in all sorts of businesses these days and how managers at all levels seems to be either impotent or powerless to generate any sort of tangible improvement.
Finding fault is a common pastime amongst writers because it is easier and more sensational than writing about the good around us. However, today I decided that I would lead a small but genuine charge up the hill of enmity and antagonism by offering heartfelt thanks to some men and women who serve us well and make our world a better place. If everyone would follow the example of just a few good people we would all be able to spend much less time moaning about service and spend much more time enjoying our lives.
We have become a world of complainers and our complaints appear to have become ubiquitous, self-fulfilling prophecies, but perhaps if we all take on the responsibility of thanking other people for the good things they do, more people will want to do good things so they too, can receive the gift of thanks.
Here are some thanks from me to a short list of great people who deserve a big helping of gratitude:
1. Thank you to the men and women of the medical profession who despite constant and escalating budget cuts wake up every morning with the truly noble intention of saving lives and making the pain go away.
2. Thanks to the waiter who greeted me as I walked through the door of his restaurant and made certain the service I received was so impeccable that my evening was even better than I had hoped.
3. Thank you to the politicians who only garner attention when they do something wrong while attempting to satisfy everyone in their dominion on both sides of the political aisle.
4. Thanks to the helpful young lady on the street who noticed that I appeared to be confused and stopped to ask if she could help me find my way.
5. Thank you to the police and military men and women who despite being borne of ordinary human flesh are expected to always have hearts of lions and skin made of titanium.
6. Thanks to the clothing-store clerk who acknowledged me, asked if she could help me, and made me feel very special when I tried on a new jacket.
7. Thank you to the school teachers who are never paid very well but who do so much to shape our children’s minds while we are out making money to buy automobiles and three-door refrigerators.
8. Thank you to all of the firemen, and all other emergency service personnel who willingly put their lives on the line so that others may live every time they suit up.
9. Thanks to the hotel bellman who when sensing that I was not overjoyed with the room that was assigned to me, immediately moved me to a nicer room with a better view.
10. Most importantly, thank you to everyone, everywhere who took a second from their day to look up and smile at me when I entered their field of view.
Good service is not complicated. It is merely an extension of normal, human kindness.
As much I am sometimes frustrated by the lack of kindness and altruism I find in many service providers of late, I believe that every person in the world who provides a service of any kind to other people is capable of selflessness and compassion for each person they serve. They are good people but many have lost their way. They have either forgotten, or never been made aware that their future depends on the customers who choose to deal or not to deal with them.
Business owners and managers should make a conscious effort to bring out the best in each and every one of their employees by providing the training and ongoing supervision necessary to make them competent, confident and poised. When a business fails to provide essential customer service tools to its employees, it does a great disservice to its customers, its workforce and its reputation.
If you want better service, try rewarding good service providers with courtesy, a smile and a heartfelt, “Thank You” ... Lead the charge! Let everyone know how much you value good service and you might just start a groundswell that will sweep the world.
All the Best!