Maybe that sounds too simple. Or maybe it's that obvious.
Call it one of those "light bulb moments," at least for me. Successful businesses covet our good will, so they make us feel valued.
Isn't that what you and I want to feel in our personal lives?
What got me thinking about this stems from my recent online order for a couple of "used" electronic items from a major seller. Originally I specified "used, in good condition," then later did a rethink. I decided to amend my order and substitute the same item in "used, like new" condition." I knew that often means "open box" rather than used and returned, so the extra $20 would be well spent.
I called the seller's customer service, expecting another long, frustrating experience with a person who wouldn't understand what I was saying the first time around. Here's what I got instead.
- This representative listened attentively, with respect and courtesy. Without argument, he tried to accommodate my request, but at that point in the shipping process, he couldn't. He expressed his regrets that my call came too late in the process to make the change.
- Then he volunteered to call me the day after I received my order and check whether the original order turned out to be satisfactory.
I did not wait by the phone.
Surprise! "Kev" called when he said he would. When I reported the device did not function correctly and I needed to return it, he took action without being asked.
- He immediately Emailed me a pre-addressed, prepaid return address label for the defective device.
- When I assured him I wanted the same "like new" item I had requested earlier, he set up the order blank. All I had to do was fill in my charge card info after we hung up. "Kev" would check later to make sure my order went through okay.
- He specified one-day shipping--for free.
I was speechless.
The replacement product arrived as specified, even before the seller had time to receive the defective product I shipped back.
Obviously, this business grasps the importance of customer satisfaction because after each call I got a request for feedback.
Companies work hard to build relationships and good will. How about us?
Since then I've been asking myself, Do I let the people in my life know I value them?
It's fair to say, I think, that most of us would say "thank you" to a restaurant employee who refills our water glass. How often do we say it within our own families? A neighbor does a kindness like bringing in our garbage can when we're out for the day, but we don't bother to call or say thanks. A lonely aunt writes us and we "forget" to answer or call.
We assume the people who love us will help us out and love us the same, even if we take them for granted. But who among us wants to be taken for granted? Not me!
Someone said we all wear an invisible sign that reads, "Please tell me I matter."
Still, old habits are hard to break. Where will we find our motivation? As usual, Jesus said it best, this time in Luke 6:31, in what we call the Golden Rule:
"Do to others as you would have them do to you."
That's simple--and profound. To build a stronger marriage, a stronger family or a stronger friendship, we speak the love and show the love we want to receive.
Now there's a resolution that will challenge us, but the payoff is guaranteed.
I'd love to hear your stories!