January 3, 2011
Six things you can do to ensure constant good service. Hint: tipping isn't one of them!
Six things you can do to ensure constant good service. Hint: tipping isn't one of them! by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
How often do you complain about poor service? About businesses that seem to specialize in gratuitous irritants and mind-boggling ineptitude in the care and feeding of worthy customers... like you! Such commentary in our rude days is voluminous, constant, and largely pointless. After all, what is to be done with what is so obviously a general, universal melt-down and daily deterioration in manners?
That's why this important article is so important. Constant complaining won't do much. However, there are things you can do every time you visit any business that'll ensure constant good service. Let's dig in:
Have you looked at the members of the human comedy as we (for I include myself) go about the business of living. Review the faces you see. How many exhibit such off-putting expressions that would make Ebenezer Scrooge seem like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm? Answer: a number that seems to grow by the hour. Indeed, the "get lost; leave me alone; don't you dare speak to me" expressions are so characteristic of our time that the Rolling Stones hit "I can't get no satisfaction" should become our national anthem. That's why we need to put "smile" at the top of the list.
Smiling costs nothing and opens a world of possibilities and easier-going relationships. Thus, your goal is to proffer a smile whenever possible... and, by smiling, motivate the people around you to return the favor.
2) Always greet people, whenever possible by name.
People like to be called by their names. This being the case you have to wonder why more people haven't figured out that greeting a person by their name not only is courteous; it's a vital way to ensure good service. So, how do you get the name?
In many businesses personnel either wear name tags... or else they often have a name plaque (like banks). Make a point of looking for the name... and then using it. "Good morning, Betty. You look cheerful today!" In such a simple beginning is a future replete with good natured help and assistance from Betty; which is just what you want.
3) Offer a cheerful remark.
If you want cheer from otherwise morose and self-centered personnel, make it a point to break the ice with a positive comment, like the one above delivered to "Betty": "You look cheerful today!"
Count on the fact that you will be one of the few people in contact with this person today who will be cheerful, upbeat, with a hail-fellow-well-met attitude. Remember, the run of homo sapiens will be scowling instead. Thus your remark is guaranteed to stand out... and get the response you want, namely regular good service from someone positioned to assist you, if she would!
4) Look the person you are addressing in the eye.
The general population moves listlessly through life eyes cast resolutely down, making a point to avoid eye or any other contact. This makes it difficult to secure the best service possible; in fact, it is a prescription for the exact opposite. That's why you must look your potentially helpful but current unhelpful person in the eyes. Eye contact is crucial in establishing long-term good relations and the superior service you desire.
5) Has someone been helpful to you? Tell the manager or responsible individual before you leave.
Every day most employees manage to do a reasonable job. If you want good service from these people, tell their supervisor that they were most helpful to you.
Now here's the key point. Maybe these employees have been particularly helpful... or perhaps they are just a tad above horrible. If you want to make a good impression and open a bridgehead to better service in future, you will find something to commend to the person in charge; you will tell the employees you intend to put in a good word for them...and you'll put in that good word before you leave the business.
Doing it now -- and letting the employee know you've done so -- marks you as an action oriented individual... and a person to be remembered and treated with the kind of respect only a few holy persons and an occasional monarch get. A live commendation puts you in this select society... and gets you the superior service you desire.
6) Write a congratulatory note or send an email.
In a society as service-challenged as ours, there ought to be a law ordering congratulatory comments like those above. Sadly, there is not...which is why so much good service never gets more than a thank-you at best. But not from you...
Your job, if you are determined to secure better service from the establishment and its employees, entails getting the good employee's name, the manager's name and mailing or email address. Then writing a brisk, focused message lavishing compliments and praise. In such messages there cannot be too many compliments or excessive flattery. Use both... for they are important in getting you the better service you desire. Make sure such messages are sent the very day of the good service. Delay diminishes their value, which would never do.
So, who gets superior service... and why?
The bottom line: if you want a lifetime of superior service... become a superior customer. Don't expect the people you deal with in business to give you what you will not give them: good manners, an ease of manner, not a jolting "I exist. Serve me" attitude.
Thus, the key point of this article is not merely to provide helpful hints that guarantee superior service, but to make it abundantly clear that those who get superior service are those who deserve it. And by "deserve" I do not mean that they are big shots who arrive in a chauffeur-driven limousine. Indeed, no.
People deserve better treatment because they give better treatment. And that's the way it should be!
About The Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lant's live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! Dr. Lant is the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author's permission by Robert King
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