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Friday, May 29, 2009

Encouraging Outstanding Service

Many times in America, we receive service from another person. The service industry is one of the fastest growing (and maybe fastest growing) industries in the country.

Despite that, or maybe because of it, we often receive mediocre or poor service at a store, restaurant, or business. We're almost conditioned to it because it happens so much.

BUT THEN, all of a sudden, we are the recipients of TOTALLY AWESOME, OUSTANDING service. What do we do with that? Maybe we just hopefully enjoy it to the max since we know it's going to be a while, maybe a long while, until we experience such a thing again.

Or maybe, we provide some encouragement and positive feedback to the person who made our day and to hopefully spur them to provide it again for us or someone else.

There are different ways to provide that encouragement and feedback:

1. We can personally thank the service provider even more than with a "thanks" ("You sure did go above and beyond today and I really appreciate it" or "You know what? You made my day!").

2. We can write a note on the merchant copy of the receipt ("Outstanding service!" or "Because of you we had the best dining experience in a very long time. Thank you!").

3. Tell the boss. One time I gave someone a very strong "thanks" for a service they provided and the person responded, "Thanks, but if you really want to say thanks, tell my boss." GREAT point. If you have the time and can find the manager or supervisor, let him or her know and be specific with the name of the server and what happened. You'll probably knock their socks off...I did this a few months ago and the manager was so used to getting complaints that he began a "pre-emptive" defensiveness. He was shocked when I provided positive comments.

4. Do all of the above

*Just a note that if a tip or gratuity is warranted, the verbal or written thanks should not replace that cash. And if you have the money to be generous, I encourage you to share it...with the economy the way it is, servers are getting poorer and poorer tips.

When you provide this positive experience for your service provider, you may also have the chance to model your behavior for someone else like a spouse, friend, child or grandchild. What a wonderful example you can be for someone else while simultaneously doing something nice.

Think about it...and then do it.

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