I’ve often wondered how much large companies budget for customer satisfaction handlers. You know, the people who respond when customers complain. Of course, those same people would also respond if you were to send a compliment to the company, but I doubt the company spends any time training them how to do that. Oh, but wouldn’t such a thing make their day?
We’re quick to complain when someone does something wrong, something that displeases us, something that does not meet our expectations. And maybe that last is the crux of it. We expect products to be as advertised. We expect people we work with to look professional and do their jobs. So why don’t we acknowledge companies and people who exceed our expectations rather than only speaking up when they fall short?
Exhale. Look around. Find something that pleases or amuses you. It could be the receptionist who looks professional instead of punk today. Or the Hugh Laurie music playing while you wait in line at Starbucks. Anything. And the day is already a little bit better.
Now, take 5 seconds to tell the receptionist she looks nice. It is NOT harassment to compliment her. She probably agonized for 2 hours getting ready for work, hoping her new appearance would be noticed. And when she smiles, you’ll feel better.
If you’re the boss, acknowledge extra effort from everyone. Let them know they’re appreciated. It’s worth more than a raise in pay.
Dash off an e-mail to a company whose product exceeds your expectations. It won’t take but a minute. It will feel awkward, maybe even goofy, but somewhere out there, your message will be read and a stranger will smile. I’ll bet you’ll be smiling, too.