Friday, May 06, 2005

T.I.P.S. 101** Thanking Service

Thanking Service, Part I
By Gil C. Schmidt

One of the great things about being a writer is that sometimes you get great ideas from the strangest sources in unbelievable ways. Then again, most of the time, you get your best ideas from the most obvious sources: great minds.

Allow me to reintroduce Carol, whose husband-and-wife Internet driving course business serves hundreds of concerned people a month. (You’d be concerned too if your license depended on passing the course.) Here’s another sample of Carol’s service abilities and wisdom:

“I got another e-mail last night that made me think about customer service.

I'd helped a woman earlier this week because she wasn't sure if she had updated her address, if she had ordered Express Delivery and other worries. Basically she just needed a little extra assurance and "hand-holding."

She e-mailed Customer Support last night around midnight and said: ‘Just a note to say THANK YOU for responding so quickly to my problem and taking care of me when I needed it and getting my certification out to me so quickly. Tell your boss he needs to give you a raise....thanks again...’

As consumers, we need to take opportunities to thank companies and individuals for a job well done. Too often we are quick to complain and criticize when something goes wrong, but very slow to acknowledge exceptional service. (Emphasis mine.)

We need to positively reinforce the behavior that we as a society WANT, not just criticize the behavior we don't want. If employees receive positive reinforcement for doing their job well, they are more likely to continue to do it well. Carrots are more tasty than sticks.”

Good service deserves at least a polite “Thank you,” but when you get great service, you as the customer should make the biggest noise about it that you can. Tell the person who did it, their supervisor, the manager and the world at large. If we continue to emphasize the bad, we’re only teaching each other how to do what we already know how to do: reject unsatisfactory service.

Stay tuned for more wisdom from Carol. And since she provides a great service to me: Thank you, Carol!


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