As we enter into the holiday season, I always remind myself to try and be on my best behavior and keep my patience while out doing my holiday shopping. So when I read the story about the New York City police officer who used his own money to buy a homeless man a pair of shoes and socks, it reminded me that in the busiest of times, we ALL need to take a moment and look around us and see where WE can provide a random act of kindness.
Customer service is just that—SERVING others to make their day a little brighter, a little better. Create a memory, a story, a moment that someone might tell someone else about.
Now, I am not suggesting that we all go out and try to do something for someone else just to get on YouTube—that certainly was never the intent of that officer—but rather treat others with the respect and love that this season is all about regardless if anyone else ever knows about it or not. We all have those opportunities EVERY day.
Let me share with you three ideas of how YOU might make someone’s holiday a little brighter:
- Take a moment as you are interacting with your customers, be it an internal or external customer, and ask them how they are holding up during the holidays. Ask if they are taking some time for themselves and staying healthy, or enjoying time with friends or family. Make sure you listen to their answers. It should be all about THEM.
- Explain things thoroughly to your customers and answer any questions they may have about the transaction, information, etc. I recently opened up a charge card at a department store while checking out, and the clerk, even though there was a long line of customers waiting, took the time to explain the entire process to me and what I could expect to receive in the mail, and never ONCE glanced over at the line or hurried through her explanation. I felt like I was the most important customer in the world to her—and at that moment, I guess I was!
- Make sure that at the end of each conversation, transaction, phone call, face to face meeting—whatever it may be—you take that moment to thank your customer for their business and wish them a very happy and healthy holiday season. Let them know you appreciate their business and MAYBE even ask that dreaded question—“Is there anything else I may help you with?” Especially during the next few weeks, it is easy to forget the one thing you came in for, or the question you really needed answered. You may be the life saver that helped them remember it!
For me, I am going to take the lead of that police officer and look for ways EACH day to look for opportunities to put a smile on someone’s face and let them know I care. I encourage you to do the same.
About the author:
Kathy Cuff is one of the principal authors—together with Vicki Halsey—of The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Legendary Service training program. Their customer service focused posts appear on the first and third Thursday of each month.