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Five Star Reviews

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

Lia:

Today, I finally got around to calling the head office of the gym I typically work out at on my lunch hours. I had tried to leave information online, but it wasn’t working, so I called directly.

I called to let them know that they had two staff members at the gym who are doing a great job. I have been working out there for over a year, and I make the effort to learn names, but these two are the only ones who have been friendly enough to make it possible. They are friendly, helpful and enthusiastic at the front desk, and honestly just make the whole experience better. There are a lot of staff there and most of them are not like this.

I’ve just sent off an email to head office staff member who will pass it on to their managers so they know these two staff are worth working to keep. I wanted them to be recognized for the work they do, every day, and let them know that it makes a difference to people.

The woman at head office was happily surprised to have good comments come in, and thanked me profusely.

When I can, I try to let people know how much I appreciate them, even if heartfelt words are all I have. My typically phrase is “I appreciate it”. In Washington, DC, the phrase my SO says is “I appreciate you”. It’s a subtle difference and I’ve found myself saying it as well.

Leni:

Lia, it’s so terrific to reward people for good service when they’ve done an exceptional job. I’m a big believer i this practice. I don’t think they get enough thank yous.

Sabine:

What a great example of positive feedback! I want to remember to do more of that, too. Thx, Lia!

Amber:

Oh this is great!   I don’t think people in general talk enough about the good things.  The good employees.  I have started rating business’s online when they do a 5 star service.  I find we always hear about the negative but need to hear more about the positive.  Great reminder Lia!

Adrienne:

So true. And in my opinion, vitally important as a big picture social lubricant! This has so many legs.

We have been trained in a really weird way to fault-find. “Big box” stores compete for the lowest prices this way by training their customers to ignore bad service for the lowest price. The best example of how that impacts me is when I bought my new computer last year. I wanted a particular computer. I did a Google search, got some help from my brother about its software package, made a choice, and went to the store. The last detail was that I wanted to confirm was the key board. I wanted a particular keyboard, and there were 2 options with this keyboard. I do so much writing, and that matters. They did not have either machine on display, and I was not allowed to open the box.

I remember standing there, after driving an hour, with visions of computer plums dancing in my head, vowing to myself never to do that again. This is MY example of why good service matters. I spend all day on this computer, and it is the steam engine of my vision. It is yes about cost, but what is the real cost when I cannot return to the store for assistance. My decision in that moment was to choose a small business to make those purchases next time. I didn’t care at that point what the cost was, I wanted a person I could trust, and a place I could get a reliable reference for tech assistance if I have problems. Those contacts are always word of mouth. Good businesses travel by word of mouth.

From the other side of the equation, as a small business owner, who has been self employed for 20+ years, with several different businesses, I assure you those thank yous and good reviews are the life blood of my business because they acknowledge that human part of me that loves to give good service, loves to be helpful, and loves to be received. Now that I am painting again, it is really obvious how I am affected by praise or by criticism. When a customer tells me I’m doing a great job, it actually makes me want to do an even better job. I also find myself doing extras for free, and without telling them; they get more. Conversely, when a customer is critical, I very quickly lose interest in doing a good job; I have to force myself to do good work.

It is so obvious how much that affects my basic performance. I am a ridiculously good painter. The minute a customer starts to become critical or worried about the job they will receive, I start painting really badly! I start getting paint everywhere it’s not supposed to be, I care less about cleaning it up or going back to do touch ups (most people do not notice my mistakes, but I do), and I almost immediately start feeling sluggish and heavy and sleepy. I’m like the human version of that rice in a jar experiment. I feel myself going moldy! It makes the job so unenjoyable, it becomes a chore, I consciously choose to do only what is in the budget, and if they want more work done, I always charge them full price – no “package” deals because I’m already there.

It’s so interesting to look into this! This is a big deal practice, praising people and giving good reviews. It goes a long long way. People know where to find the businesses, and the people who work and run the businesses feel great about what they do. Customer gets great service.

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