That can be in person or via e-mail or letter. Not the calculated-to-get-something kind of letter, mind you: I don’t know I ever survived without Product X! It’s miraculous! (And will you please send me some freebies or at least some high-value coupons?)
No, I’m talking that rarity: A note that says “you got it right – thanks.”
Stuff like, “Your help-desk employee was very patient in explaining something to me” or “Bill the cashier always has a friendly word – he brightens my day.”
I want this idea to go viral because we need an antidote to our current culture of complaint. If you’ve ever dealt with the public then you know that we are, by and large, a nation of nitwits. We’re rude, impatient, petulant and loud. We demand the impossible, delivered yesterday and it damn well better come with free shipping.
Ever see Louis CK’s “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy” routine? He’s got it nailed. (Warning: Adult language, amusing content.)
We have so much yet we spend way too much time complaining about what we don’t have. Or about what we perceive that we don’t have. The coffee shop being out of your favorite kind of scone is not the end of the world. More to the point, yelling at the poor kid behind the counter will not make that scone magically appear.
Good for the soul
That’s not to say that we should let bad customer service go by, or eat that raw-in-the-middle steak when we’d ordered medium well. Abby and I both know the value of a well-placed complaint.
Lately, though, she’s making a specific point to notice the things that go right. In part that’s because she works on a help desk herself and knows what it’s like to be at ground zero of consumer ire.
Abby knows how rare it is for someone to take the time to write your supervisor about the excellent job you did. Thus she knows it could make someone’s day to get an attaboy! instead of an up-yours!
“It’s bad for the soul to only write negative things,” she says.
So if you see a friendly attitude or a go-the-extra mile gesture, say something. Tell a supervisor. Write a letter. Leave a comment on the company’s Facebook page: “Employee X totally rocks!”
It’s good for others to hear that they’re appreciated. And it’s good for you to notice something besides that missing scone.