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Sat Aug 4, 2012, 12:16 PM

If you are treated exceptionally well by someone in the service industry,

let someone in charge know. It's a good thing to do.

Just before I moved from California to Minnesota, I purchased a used moving truck from UHaul to use for the move. I was leaving the state of California about a month later, but had to transfer the title in California before I drove it to Minnesota. It turned out that there were some problems with the smog certification, along with the official previous owner, and the transfer ended up being rather complicated.

The DMV office near where I lived is a busy one. I took all my paperwork there and waited in line for my turn. When I got to the counter, I explained that this was a sort of confusing transfer and I wasn't entirely sure about the paperwork and what the process would be. The clerk was more than helpful, walked me through the process, and sorted out all of the problems. The difficulty included the registered owner of the truck, which was UHaul, but in some other state. Anyhow, it was a real mess. Eventually, we got through the whole thing, with that clerk's patience and resourcefulness in working through the issues helping a great deal.

After I left, I wrote a letter to the director of the DMV in Sacramento, complimenting the clerk who had helped me and voicing my appreciation for the service I got at that local DMV office. In return, I got a letter from the DMV director, along with a copy of the letter sent to the manager at that office.

As it happened, I still had one more thing I had to take care of before leaving the state, and went back, and ended up with the same clerk. She remembered me, thanked me for writing that letter, and pointed over to a frame on the wall of the office. My letter was in the frame.

If someone goes out of their way to assist you in some government office or anywhere, and does great credit to the organization or business they're working for, do something. Write a letter, or just an email, to the highest level person in that organization or business you can identify. It's a big deal for them, and not much trouble for you. Since it so rarely happens, it has a real impact.

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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply If you are treated exceptionally well by someone in the service industry, (Original post)
MineralMan Aug 2012 OP
yellerpup Aug 2012 #1
monmouth Aug 2012 #2
MineralMan Aug 2012 #3
pinto Aug 2012 #4
CrispyQ Aug 2012 #5
MineralMan Aug 2012 #6
raccoon Aug 2012 #25
klook Aug 2012 #28
kcass1954 Aug 2012 #7
Patiod Aug 2012 #8
Citizen Worker Aug 2012 #9
RebelOne Aug 2012 #10
sarchasm Aug 2012 #11
slackmaster Aug 2012 #12
DrewFlorida Aug 2012 #13
Major Nikon Aug 2012 #14
MineralMan Aug 2012 #15
ladym55 Aug 2012 #16
MineralMan Aug 2012 #17
marew Aug 2012 #19
CrispyQ Aug 2012 #32
marew Aug 2012 #18
MineralMan Aug 2012 #20
MI_State_Too Aug 2012 #21
ejpoeta Aug 2012 #27
JNelson6563 Aug 2012 #30
LineReply ^
Wilms Aug 2012 #22
Behind the Aegis Aug 2012 #23
BuelahWitch Aug 2012 #24
zazen Aug 2012 #26
VOX Aug 2012 #29
JNelson6563 Aug 2012 #31
MineralMan Aug 2012 #34
twizzler Aug 2012 #33
MineralMan Aug 2012 #35
twizzler Aug 2012 #36
mwooldri Aug 2012 #37

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 12:20 PM

1. A proper thank you

is more appreciated than most realize. When anyone does something nice for you it's only right that you thank them in a way that matters. Thanks for laying out the proper way to do it.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 12:21 PM

2. I had a car stolen at a gas station many years ago. My fault, running into the store part and

leaving keys in the ignition. Police response was both swift, professional and kind towards my stupidity. Car was recovered two, three days later. I wrote the Chief to tell him about my experience and named the officers involved. He wrote back that the letter would be framed as it was so rare to hear compliments instead of complaints. I got a kick out of that and was pleased that all those involved had received copies.

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Response to monmouth (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 12:22 PM

3. Yup. People complain readily, but rarely compliment.

It makes a difference when you do.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 12:27 PM

4. Agree, totally. I've been on both ends of the thing -

Public Health employee, recipient of publicly funded services.

Not to mention, at one time a waiter and a restaurant patron...

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 12:34 PM

5. I call businesses all the time to let them know I was treated nicely.

They love it.

I try to get the employees name & I call the business at a time when someone can take time to really listen to my call.

Don't forget a good Yelp review, too!

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 12:37 PM

6. Great idea. Posting positive reviews online is also a good

option. I wrote one last week about the dealer where I bought my car, and about the car, too. Thanks for doing good things!

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 07:52 AM

25. Yelp review? Is that an Internet site? elucidate, my dear Watson. nt

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Response to raccoon (Reply #25)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 08:21 AM

28. Link here:

Yelp (http://www.yelp.com) is an interactive site where ordinary citizens post reviews and tips about local businesses. Categories include restaurants, clubs, shopping, real estate, education, financial services, automotive, "Hot New Businesses," etc. They have sites for many different cities. Within a city site there are also links to neighborhoods.

The reviews are not always as reliable as, say, Lonely Planet or Fodor's (or a good local newspaper), but you get a feel for what regular people think vs. professional reviewers. And they must do some checking for false reviews planted by business owners or their competitors, because I haven't seen anything that looks fake.

Sometimes the reviews and comments are useful, sometimes snarky, sometimes shallow and idiotic, and sometimes the writing is really good and entertaining -- like so many things on teh Internets, you just have to sort through the info you find and use your best judgement as to what's relevant to you.

Some Yelpers (yes, that's what site members are called) use the social networking aspects of the site, posting info about themselves, their picture(s), links to friends' profiles, details about events they've attended or plan to attend -- way too much personal information for my taste, but if that's your thing you can connect to communities and networks via Yelp, too.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 02:04 PM

7. Someone wrote a letter about me a few years ago, and I got a 10% raise that year.

I try to do the same when I'm treated very well. I think it helps when the praise is given in writing, too. The person at the top sees that if you took the extra time to write, the service must truly have been exceptional.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 02:24 PM

8. Showed up at B&N 10pm the night before Christmas eve with a print out from Amazon

Amazon hadn't shipped anything on my order list, and didn't let me know until the afternoon of 12/23.

I apologized to the first clerk I found, a heavily tattooed kid, for being stupid enough to shop on Amazon, and he led me through the store, filling the list. Then on to the Music Dept, where the multiple-pierced goth chick wearing a black hoodie with the hood up led me over to the folk music section when I couldn't find a Laura Nyro tribute album. At the register, I noticed the checker's nameplate said "Manager", and I complimented her incredibly knowledgeable and helpful staff, describing each helper, and saying that not one of them simply pointed and said "over there", but led me right to the requested item. She laughed and said "that's because they know I'll smack the hell out of any finger I see pointing".

But then she said they all had a long, tough day, and that at the staff meeting when the store closed (at midnight), she would relay my compliments to the folks who helped me, and use my feedback to rally all the troops.

It was nice to see how a sincere compliment about her staff just entirely brightened her whole demeanor.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 02:35 PM

9. In March of this year I had an health emergency that required transport to a hospital. I was 700

miles from home and by myself. From the moment the aid unit picked me up until discharge from the hospital the treatment I received was superb. When I returned home I sent thank you cards and a box of chocolate to each department.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 02:35 PM

10. I have done that and also called an agency when my service was excellent. n/t

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 02:40 PM

11. Excellent!

People may not remember you, but they always remember how you make them feel.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 02:41 PM

12. Absolutely!

 

I'm a generous tipper too.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 02:52 PM

13. I agree!

Good for you for setting and posting a good example of positive reinforcement for a job well done.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 02:53 PM

14. I do this every day

When someone is doing a good job I say so, every time. I don't mean just saying thanks, I will say things along the lines, "you are doing a great job, and you make this a great place to come back." When someone goes well above and beyond, I do frequently write letters (I still love snail mail). I use my company's letterhead and envelopes as I think it tends to get noticed more.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 03:03 PM

15. I'm loving the fact that so many people wrote that they do the same

thing. Thanks, everyone!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 03:07 PM

16. I am going to approach this from two different directions

First, from the perspective of someone who received excellent help and support ... at the end of my mother's life, I had to take over power of attorney and move her 200 miles to assisted living close to me. It was a mess on many levels, but the tiny branch bank right near her assisted living facility helped me handle her finances, transfers, etc. They made it so easy for me to pay her bills and handle things for her, and after she died, they helped me as I settled the estate. At the end of the process, I wrote a letter to the regional manager for the bank and named everybody. I got a phone call from that manager ... apparently NO ONE ever did that. I was floored. This little group of people I had never met went out their way to make a stressful time easier for all ... and they never heard good things about themselves and their work.

Now, from the perspective of someone who supervises a group of hard-working people who aren't paid a lot (and no, I have NO say in setting pay): When I hear something good about anyone who works for me, I make sure that person knows right away. I thank the person for letting me know, too. When there is a problem, we try to work it out together. That's how it should be ... too often it isn't.

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Response to ladym55 (Reply #16)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 03:22 PM

17. A lot of people who work in service jobs of any

kind never hear praise for their work, I'm afraid. To far too many people, they are faceless, nameless drones who represent bureaucracy. I've been there, a long time ago. Now, I make an attempt to meet their eyes, smile, and thank them for their help at the time. When someone goes out of their way to help me, I let their management know about it.

A smile, a nice greeting, and a pleasant approach on the part of the customer really makes a difference in the quality of service. All too often I see people approach some person working a counter, put their paper on the counter or their bank deposit or whatever without even looking up or acknowledging the person they're dealing with. The whole transaction is done in complete silence. No wonder people think that workers at such jobs are cold or unfriendly. The customer has to make an effort, too.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #17)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 03:32 PM

19. Exactly!

I try to give everyone a sincere and heartfelt thank you- looking straight into their eyes- even the kids who bag my groceries. One can tell the simply words 'thank you' are not heard by any of the people with whom we come into contact near enough.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #17)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 09:06 AM

32. "The customer has to make an effort, too."

Exactly! The customer can set the tone for the entire transaction. I worked retail for 10 years. A surly greeting or no greeting at all tells you the customer doesn't see you as a person, but rather just another cog to do a job.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 03:27 PM

18. At my local grocery store...

some employees are extremely helpful. After notifying the manager about some who was especially helpful recently, the manager told me when someone receives a compliment they get a free lunch from the deli. A few others I've made sure have gotten free lunches lately also. So many people work so hard and don't get paid that much. I try do the same at other places of businesses also whose employees do a great job.
As most of us know, life is hard and I believe even a little kindness may go a long way.

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Response to marew (Reply #18)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 03:52 PM

20. Excellent! I shop at a local hardware store very often.

Two winters ago, my garage door broke and couldn't be opened. I went in the side door to figure out the problem, and found what was wrong. But, I had never worked on a garage door, and there are springs and all sorts of stuff to deal with. So, I went up to that family-owned ACE hardware store. I remembered seeing garage door parts there . So I went in and was looking at the parts. One of the employees came up and asked if he could help me. I described what had happened and what I thought I needed. He took the time to help me find the parts I would need, but went further. He described the entire process of doing the repair, including how to wind up the springs on the door. Then, he took me into the store's office, looked up a website, and printed out complete instructions for making the repair.

The parts came to about $40, but the help was priceless. I fixed the door, and then came back in later and told the store owner how pleased I was with what had happened. That store gets all of my business now for anything hardware store related. It also gets my recommendation whenever the subject comes up. Outstanding service deserves being rewarded.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 05:53 PM

21. It is ALWAYS

nice to recognize people. I hold on to one particular email I once got from one of my student's parents. Apparently, she went home and talked about me every night and I had really improved her attitude about math. I would've never known if the parent hadn't told me because she was one of those kids who is always quiet and polite in class but didn't go out of her way to be noticed--one of the under-appreciated introverts!

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Response to MI_State_Too (Reply #21)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 08:16 AM

27. wow that's great! it's amazing what influence a teacher can have.

i have had subjects that I didn't care for but when I had a teacher that loved that subject, it sunk through and made me enjoy it more and in turn I tended to do better in that class. I got lucky having a lot of those teachers. I see that sometimes when my daughter comes home and seems so excited about something she learned about in school. she loves learning anyway, but it sure is so awesome to see that twinkle in her eyes. I always try to convey that to the teachers when I meet them. Just how good of a job they are doing and how much I appreciate everything they do. I had never thought to make sure maybe the principal or the superintendant knows. I will definitely be doing that this year!

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Response to MI_State_Too (Reply #21)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 08:37 AM

30. As a parent, thank you.

My kids each had a couple/few teachers that made a very big, positive impact. Teachers like you not only make a difference in the students' lives but those of their parents as well.

Many thanks for doing what you do. I could never do it and I great admire those who can do what I cannot.

Oh and welcome to DU fellow Michigander!

Julie

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 11:40 PM

22. ^

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 11:49 PM

23. Cool story, bro!

j/k

I think you make some really good points, especially in post #3. We, as people, easily criticize, but seem to drag our feet when it comes to complimenting good behaviors or products. I am really bad about planning to do it, then not following through. I am pretty good at doing it immediately, like at a restaurant, or similar situation, but like you, when I moved, I had some really good service and never followed up.

Thanks for a timely reminder. It's appreciated.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 12:20 AM

24. A few days before I left Salt Lake City

I went to my local Albertson's and bought a couple boxes of donuts. One was for my mother's old pharmacy, the other for my credit union. Both of them had been wonderful and never gave me a problem when I became my mother's caregiver and had to conduct business on her behalf. I told them I appreciated all they had done for us and wanted to let them know before I left town.
Also, as a customer service rep for many years, I make it a point to talk to a supervisor if I get good service on the phone or in a store. Good service should be rewarded.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 08:06 AM

26. see, I've always been afraid it would backfire

I know this sounds totally paranoid, but w/r/t people in _public_ service--their helping you typically means helping you avoid or more quickly get through stupid, frustrating hoops. What if I thank that person to their supervisor, and the supervisor goes off on the public servant for "giving me special treatment" or helping me seemingly "violate" policies (because I didn't suffer as much as the next person)?

I think this is different in business service, but seriously, w/r/t public service, it is an entirely reasonable fear. Public assistance people, budget people in universities, tax people--the way they help you is to help you cut through the bullshit that their administrators inflict (or enforce). I'm sooo afraid of the unintended consequences.

Still, I love a thread that reminds us to practice gratitude. I just twist myself in knots about how to appropriately show it in cases like this.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 08:27 AM

29. Nicely stated, and a good reminder...

Especially in an age where quality face-to-face service has suffered overall due to the bottom-lining by nearly every enterprise, public or private.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 08:55 AM

31. What a great thread MM!

I've enjoyed reading your OP and the subsequent posts. I've long worked in service work in various forms, usually as a manager.

Having grown up in a family business I always felt like I was welcoming guests to our home away from home. as it were. Many years later I've still always treated customers that way. And people respond to that.

The opposite holds true in that I treat service staff with regard. I always give a sincere thanks to those who wait on me in stores or where-ever and if they do anything more than say "hi" and ring me up I always make sure to say, loudly enough for anyone around to hear, "thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it". Invariably, no matter how large or small the task they did, they smile and dismiss it with an it-was-nothing sort of statement.

Another thing I do is offer a word of encouragement to those who are new/struggling with their work. For instance an overwhelmed cashier in busy store with mile long lines. Or maybe a cashier who just dealt with a PITA customer. I always give these poor souls a word of praise and encouragement.

Kindness costs nothing and I give it away all the time. Glad (but not terribly surprised) to see so many DUers are the same way.



Julie

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #31)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 09:42 AM

34. Thanks. We're all so stressed and hurried

these days that we sometimes forget courtesy. I'm guilty of it myself, at times. If we can slow down just a little and take the time to be kind, considerate, and pleasant, it really does spread out, like ripples. I try to remind myself of that whenever I'm in a rush or under stress and take care to not load that on anyone else, especially strangers.

Let the merging driver merge, say thank you, smile, encourage, and everything will run more smoothly and maybe some of that stress will drop away.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 09:13 AM

33. Several years ago we had to have our beloved wolf/malamute

 

put down and at the time the animal control service was part of the local sheriff's dept. A woman came out to our house and in our garage, she administered the the drugs to put him to sleep all the while comforting myself, wife and daughters. After he was pronounced, she then made all the arraignments for him to be picked up by the owners of our pet cemetery and stayed with us until they arrived and took him away.
She was so kind to us and helped us through a very difficult time in our lives, so I wrote the sheriff and complimented him on an employee that went above and beyond the scope of her duties and we got back a letter from him thanking us for the kind letter and he let us know that a copy of our letter was in her personnel file.




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Response to twizzler (Reply #33)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 09:42 AM

35. Thanks for telling that story. I'm sure that person's

attitude helped in that difficult situation.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #35)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 09:55 AM

36. Our dog literally grew up with our daughters

 

he protected them, was their companion to the very end. He lived to the ripe old age of 17 years and this woman was just so kind and compassionate. She later went on to become a deputy on the sheriffs dept.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 12:11 PM

37. I appreciate you posting this.

I work in a telephone-based customer service environment for a credit card company. I don't take 1st round calls - I get the calls when that customer wants to speak to a supervisor. A complimentary call is always a delight to receive, and yes it is a big deal. The interaction I have with the customer is typically short with these kinds of calls - but the work afterwards to do the recognition of a front line customer service rep is always a pleasure, even if it is time consuming.

I have noticed though that I am not taking so many of these calls lately. Maybe it is because my employers have raised the bar on customer service so high that the expectation is that we are always hitting those high notes - and it is harder to go above and beyond when the bar is set that high. 5 years ago I was taking about 2-3 calls a week from customers wishing to heap praises on the person who helped them. 2 is my total for 2012.

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