I’d mentioned in my blog a few weeks ago that I’d just moved house.
Everyone always tells you it’s stressful, and though you don’t want to hear this, they’re not lying.
I’m a bit negative at times, and believe in the concept that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. However, the up-side of this negativity is the fact that I’m always very prepared, and have become somewhat well-versed in turning situations around to my advantage should the fault lie at somebody else’s hands.
In short, I’m great at complaining until I get my own way.
Whilst I’m proud of this skill, determination and resilience, I had to think to myself recently about all the customer complaints I have felt the need to make in this last month since the house move. In that short time alone, I’d complained to energy companies for overcharging me and getting my readings spectacularly wrong, to solicitors for missing key legal checks on my sale and purchase, and to curtain outlets for having a shocking attitude to customer service at the tills in their stores. Admittedly, in doing all of this complaining, I do get some kind of positive outcome above what was initially expected, but it’s sapped a lot of my energy along the way, too.
I wanted to think about how I could do things a little differently. So, I have now decided that every time I feel the need to ‘kick off’ about something, I’m going to look for an occasion where someone in the service industry has done something good or kind, and I’m going to praise it.
This takes much less time to do, because even a few words or small actions will be unexpected, overwhelmingly pleasing to the receiver, and because you are not wanting anything in return, you don’t have to build a case – you just need to acknowledge something. Simple.
Having worked in the service industry myself, the ratio of complaints to compliments is stacked very much in the former’s favour, as people just love to complain, so let’s help people out here and try to redress that balance. I spend hours plotting revenge against those individuals or organisations that I feel have wronged me in their customer service, and I’m not spending anywhere near enough time thanking or praising those people who have bucked the supposed trend and done something kind for me.
So, join me. Next time you notice that someone in the service industry has gone above and beyond, or has even just carried out their role with a smile, make sure you let them know. It can’t be anything other than a positive surprise for them, and who doesn’t like those?