A little thanks goes a long way – and really gets you noticed.
Given my passion for all things relating to employee engagement (see previous posts) I work with an organisation to ensure that they “notice” what their employees do, and we devise programs to make people feel like winners.
The challenge of course is that no matter the commitment of the employer, many times they are just not there on the day. Many people work “in the field” and there is no one to see the small miracles that they perform every day.
We as customers can affect how someone experiences their job. I often will challenge an audience to consider that on average each of them will experience 10 transactions a day. And then I ask how many were truly memorable?
Even in large groups of more than 500, often there is no one who is prepared to announce one truly memorable customer interaction they had in the past month! Is it that service in Australia is just so bad? Or is it that we are just numb to it?
I don’t own a car (a small personal commitment to reducing global warming, and Sydney’s streets are a little safer), so I regularly catch the bus. Can you imagine the surprise of my bus driver, as I alight and turn back to them, when I look them in the eye and say “thank you for getting me here safely and on time”. They are amazed (or think I am crazy) but every bus drivers’ eyes light up. They were noticed; (they probably compare notes at the depot – ‘did you get the crazy woman who thanks you for getting her there safely and on time?’).
You see, it does not hurt to notice what people do in a day. And it is just by noticing that we can make a huge difference to someone else. Then in turn they will notice someone else – then eventually we are all just happier and we don’t know why.
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Below are two emails that I have received from people who have taken up my cause of just catching people doing things well.
“Hi Naomi. I heard you speak recently at Air New Zealand’s leadership college at Auckland. I must confess to having never heard of you or your organisation before this. I found you a delight to listen to and lots of what you said made sense to me.
“I didn’t really see how most of the customer contact stuff would relate to me as I work in line maintenance, looking after the servicing and repair of aeroplanes before they venture off across the Pacific or Tasman. However a recent event reminded me of what you said about surprising and delighting the customer.
“I was onboard NZ2 for Los Angeles with 5-10 minutes to go before departure, completing some last minute stuff (refuelling, paperwork, etc) when a flight attendant asked me to check a reading light in the premium economy section. The light needed re-lamping so I got a spare lamp from the flight deck and replaced the failed one.
“After I had done this I noticed the passenger seemed really happy and he told me that in all his years of travelling he had never known an airline that would actually fix something for a passenger right before departure as I had done.
“This also reminded me of what you said about thanking people, because being thanked in this manner made me feel fantastic for the rest of my shift and probably for a good few days after as well.”
Best regards, Shaun Houlahan
And then this email:
“Message for Naomi. This will test your claim that you review all feedback! 😉 Dear Naomi, it was a great pleasure to hear you speak at Tour de Cure DOI yesterday. I also loved the simple things like thanking a bus driver (as it’s so easy but we get so caught up in ourselves and our world, that we just don’t do it, and its tragic!).
“So in that vein, I noticed a particularly happy voice on the end of Telstra 1234 directories this morning and I congratulated her for sounding happy, advising it’s not my normal experience and said, good on you, have great day.
“There was shocked silence and she responded that she has been working the lines for 14 months and never had a compliment…. and we hung up and it felt GREAT! Have a great day Naomi. I’m sure our paths will cross again soon!”
Best, David Lo
It really is easy to make someone else’s day – and in this season of giving, what about some heart felt thanks.
To read more Naomi Simson blogs, click here.Naomi Simson is the founder and CEO (Chief Experiences Officer) of RedBalloon Days, Naomi is passionate about pleasure! Backed by enthusiasm, energy and drive and recently named one of Australia’s best bosses (Australia’s Marketing Employer of Choice), the Entrepreneurs Organisation (Sydney Chapter) President 2007 – 2008 and mother of two, Naomi also inspires others as a regular speaker, writes a blog and has recently completed her first book.
Andrew writes: Thanks for your uplifting messages – passed onto our franchisees. I’ve been making it a point to thank the nameless cleaners in shopping centres for the past year, particularly around food malls. The simple direct look into the eyes and my “thank you for making this place so clean and a pleasure to eat in” stuns them. I personally like seeing the wry smile and the inner pride I can see in their eyes. I try to catch three people each visit doing something good, and thank them. By the time I leave, I know three people have been touched by a stranger, and I feel great. I’ve always disagreed with that bumper sticker “Practice acts of random kindness”. I believe we should be practicing acts of DELIBERATE and THOUGHT OUT kindness. I agree with you … that approach positively changes society … one transaction at a time.