What rings so true from this article is the word “respect” and how that affects so much of our business transactions. That means respect for not only your customers, but also your suppliers. So as always I’m happy to share Shep Hyken's inspiring words. –Andrea Michaels
-By Shep Hyken
Customer service is usually about the people who work at a company being polite to the customer. But how about the customer being polite to the employee? Be nice and maybe you’ll get nice back.
So, this article is from the
perspective of the customer.
No doubt that a squeaky wheel
gets the oil. For those that aren’t familiar with this old saying, it basically
means if you are loud enough, you’ll get noticed. To put it in business terms, if
you feel you’re not getting the customer service you think you deserve, stomp
your feet up and down and you might get what you want. Sounds like a good plan,
but there may be a better way.
There is another old saying:
You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Being nice to the people
serving you may beget nice customer service in return. If you don’t believe me,
try it. It’s the right thing to do anyway.
The catching flies with honey
concept comes to life in a couple of amazing examples I read about in an
excellent article in Trendwatching.com. Companies will reward you for being nice and polite to
their people and the other customers around you.
Last year McDonald’s and
Coca-Cola got together for a special promotion that rewarded diners for not
using their cell phones. I don’t mind someone using their phone in a public
area if they are discreet and respectful of others. The idea of rewarding a
customer for their good behavior intrigues me. The promotion encouraged
customers to take a “timeout” from talking, tweeting, Facebooking and texting.
The longer you stayed in “timeout,” the more points you receive. Participants
could win prizes, including a free trip.
I can’t vouch for the success of
the app, but the premise is sound. Just the other day I was at the grocery
store and standing in the checkout lane. The person in front of me was on her
phone. She was loud and showed little respect for the people around her; specifically
the cashier who had to wait to catch the customer’s attention to pay for her
In that same Trendwatching
article, there was another excellent example. La Petite Syrah, a French café,
had a pricing policy based on politeness. The customers who were kind to the
barista and used the word “please” were charged less than those who weren’t so
polite. The two prices were posted on their menu board. A cup of coffee for the
polite customer cost EUR 1.40 versus EUR 7. That’s an 80% discount, just for being
nice. Sign me up for that one!
Here’s the point of this article:
As a person, respect the people
around you. As a customer, respect the people you do business with. They just
may give it back to you, and sometimes even more so. Dealing with someone
having a bad day? Smile. Be polite. Be the nice customer that’s easy to do
business with, that potentially can make that bad day a little better. Then,
watch how you’re treated.
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is a customer service expert, hall-of-fame speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. He works with organizations to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus, a customer service training program that helps organizations develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. For more information contact (314) 692-2200 or www.Hyken.com
For more information about Andrea Michaels and Extraordinary Events, please visit, www.extraordinaryevents.net.