A little thanks goes a long way – and will really get 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 impact 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 global warming – and people on Sydney roads are safer) So I regularly catch the bus. Can you imagine the surprise of my bus driver – when I alight the bus and turn to them – look them in the eye and state ‘thank you for getting me here safely and on time’. They are amazed (or think I am crazy) but each of the bus drivers you see their eyes light up – they were noticed. (they probably compare notes at the depot – did you get the crazy woman who thanks you for getting you 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. 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 revamping 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
“ 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 it’s tragic!) so in that vain.
- 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 a great day. there was shocked silence and she responded that she has been working the lines for 14 mths 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 heartfelt thanks.