Complimenting Good Service


Okay, so I’ve griped about bad customer service, and we’ve all had those experiences. But today I had a completely different experience, and I wanted to share it. Partly because I’m not sure how common it is, so you may only get to experience this vicariously.

I’m wandering through a local furniture chain’s store, looking for a very specific item, and because I didn’t bother with my hair or make-up, I look a fright. And we all know how quickly service people rush to your assistance if you don’t “look the part,” so I was stunned and amazed when this saleswoman not only met my eye but also nodded and asked if there was anything she could help me with. Flabbergasted, I said, Why yes, actually I’m looking for a chair to go with an antique drop front desk that I have. She asked what I had in mind. Can you believe that? Wow, I thought, she actually cares what I want to buy and isn’t steering me to the most expensive stuff on the floor without a backwards glance.

So I explained what I was looking for, and she walked with me, chatting away about chairs and comfort and appearance and all manner of things furniture-y. I forgot that I wasn’t quaffed and buffed and looking glamorous and got into a fun conversation with her, enjoying the chair talk, even enjoying the three laps around the enormous showroom (thinking I could use a bit of exercise). She was patient as I wanted to look at this chair, then sit in it, then move on, only to come back and look again. She was, quite frankly, a dream salesperson: knowledgeable, patient, not pushy, interested, and she actually listened.

Turns out that the one chair I wanted there was only available if I drove to the next state (not as bad as that sounds, only about thirty or so mins) to pick it up. Um, no thanks. So she gives me her card, tells me the whatever special number of the chair in question, and tells me she’ll be around until 9 p.m. I amble out, quite pleased with my experience and with a far better idea of what I was looking for.

I actually bought a chair at the next place that I went to (great chair, too), but I called her up to tell her so (I’m sure she works on commission or at least in part). She was so fabulous, even then, having lost a sale that I told her with absolute honesty and sincerity that I would be keeping her card and that the very next time I needed furniture of any kind I was going straight to her. She was pleased, and then laughingly said she wished her manager could hear that. Well, thought I, why not? So I urged her to put her manager on the line; she did. I gave a nutshell version of the above. He told me that he was thrilled to hear it because he so often hears complaints.

And I realized that we are much more likely to complain about bad service than to go out of our way to compliment good or even great service. Wouldn’t it be great if we made the time to praise those who deserve it? It sure made me feel good today.


18 thoughts on “Complimenting Good Service

  1. Now for the real comment.
    That was so very nice of you to telephone the lady and also to talk to the manager. It is true…no one hesitates to complain, but rarely does a person stop to compliment a person….
    I think the attitude is ‘that is their job, and I don’t need to compliment someone for doing their job.’
    Compliments are like tips in a restaurant…when someone makes you feel special, when someone makes the experience enjoyable…Please leave them a ‘TIP’ by giving them a compliment.
    Wonderful Blog Fuzzy….Thank you for sharing.

  2. That kicked those pesky gremlin’s asses into next week. Take that, yer little blighters!!
    Wow, you found that urban legend…the friendly, helpful salesperson. You should have got a photograph!!
    I think the same as you. If I get good service, I make sure the person giving that service gets proper acknowledgement for it.

  3. You know Fuzzy,
    I’ll bet this woman is going to remember your kindness for years to come. So many times people are quick to remember the negative experiences and bypass any positive ones. It says a lot about you as a person that you would take the time to make this salesperson feel as if she was successful and doing her best, and now she is going to be more inclined to continue that type of service. You rock, Fuzzy!! @@ hugs, Gloria xo

  4. Ummm…ermmmmm…we care talking about customer service and complaints? I spent all day working at home on a draft complaints policy for work and come here to blog on it too…ohhh twist of fate can be so cruel!

    I too think that that sales person will remember you for years to come. Too seldom in life do people get compliments. Customer service in the UK is beyond a joke! It is so far beyond I can’t see it. As a complaints manager I almost never get compliments. People are too angry by the time they speak to me. So when I do get them I remember them.

    There was one lady about 4 years ago, came to me with a complaint about the waiting lists for her operation. I was working in an acute medical trust then. She was having such troubles with her back she could barely walk. She came to see me on a fortnightly basis to see how my quest to get her operation was progressing. Each time she would come, she would be a little bit more hunched over until one day she could not make the trip into see me. I was so enraged that this lady had deterorated right before my very eyes, I went over to the consultant surgeon and begged him to do the operation. I begged him to move her up the waiting list. He brought her in an assessed her and she had the operation two days later. He told her what I had done. Several weeks later she turned up at my office and gave me a present. Actually two presents. The first being that she was walking perfectly and no crutches. Secondly, she gave me a small gift wrapped box. I opened in and inside was a small precious moments statue that thanked me for caring. There was a little box on the statue that opened and she said her most heartfelt thanks were inside. She said I couldn’t see them but that they were there. I still have my statue and it is still on my desk. When the pressure of works and complaints start to get me down I open up my box of thanks yous and it helps me get by!

    So what you did for that lady today, I am sure meant so much to her!

  5. Good for you – it cost you nothing but a bit of time to make a big difference for her. I agree with you that its much easier for us to notice and complain about bad service than it is for us to appreciate and acknowledge good service. Perhaps it is because we expect it, but even so, there’s very little effort on our part to express our gratitude for someone’s job well done. A great blog.

  6. One more time, you do wonderful things. I know service people dont get the credit they deserve. I have tried to make it a point to give credit where it ie due when it happens. It causes such a chain of events. first, the person who did the great job feels better. they in turn do a better job. Then, the supervisor/boss is told, they know they have a great person on their team. They inform the person, and her work improves a little more. The business prospers a little because of this person. Then you feel great for doing something good and with very little effort. You tell your friends about the store and the person, so more people go there. Business improves a little more. You did more by speaking up than you realise. Can you imagine how great customer service would be if more people did this?

  7. Ya dun good Fuzz.. I really liked Ambers story. Used to could make a movie about it all. Let’s all follow suit and tommorow will be very pleasant for all.

  8. I thnik I want to adopt you. You’re so nice! That was really a lovely thing to do, and yes, you’re right, if we appreciated the good things instead of only noticing the bad things, we’d probably be a lot happier. You no doubt made her day, and it might have been just what she needed, it’s always good to feel appreciated.
    What a lovely thought.
    It reminds me actually, there is a sandwich shop near where I live. Usually, there’s a very butch, very brisk woman who grunts when she takes your orser, doesn’t look at you or talk to you while she makes your food, then sort of throws your order at you, leaving you wonder exactly what you’ve done.
    I went in there the other day and they had another woman behind the counter. She was more than polite, friendly, chatty, and genuinely nice-seeming, to the point that as I was walking home I was thinking to myself “What a thoroughly nice person”.
    I should have done what you did. And maybe I will 😀

  9. 🙂 Lots of brownie buttons for you Fuzzy! I am sure it made her day because like you said, so few people will stop to pass on the good deed. Thank you for the reflection that I needed for the day.

  10. Hey Fuzzy,

    This was really sweet of you and I am sure she really appreciated it. Working in local government, I know what complaints are more too often than the next person as thats what nearly every call is about. We do get the odd good comment and everyone makes sure that they put a copy of the letters that we receive on the Thank you file. Its not very thick but its getting there slowly!

    Great blog for making us think, Thanks and hugs to you and Banbury. x

  11. Hmmmm . . . after a false start at individual answers, I had to stop. I just kept writing about how marvelous I am. LOL But seriously, this wasn’t about me so much as just making amends for bashing service people before, or really just balancing out the picture. I’m not great, though Tally–you can adopt me any time. Thanks for all your great comments!! Huggs to each of you.

    Yay, thanks Rainy, I’d seen “FTC” before and had no idea what it meant!! :))

    Urban legend, LOL, Mitch (that made me laugh because it’s so friggin’ sad in what it suggests)

    Thanks, Gloria! And no, YOU rock!! :))

    Amber Angel, what a great story!! And I compliment you all the time, so think about that, too. Huggs and love.

    Thank you, Em, that is very nice of you. Makes me day. 😀

    Ooooh, how sage of you, Spartonmom; the ripple effect, and I think you’re right about that, too!!

    Aw, thanks, Heyman!

    Yeah, go tell the nice woman she’s nice, Tally. She’ll appreciate it (evil thought: why not do it in front of the dour dike? LOL Ooops, bet I just lost my halo. I only did for that for rhyme’s sake and because it’s funny to me. Not because I have anything against any gay people of either gender. Required disclaimer completed.)

    Thanks, Pris!!

    Snuggles, thanks so much for the compliment! And I’m sure your Thank You file will be full to bursting in no time, Snuggles!! Banbury’s asking about Marm, how’s she doing? oidgjn; aoirejfnvls oijgsuopa oeai9ehkj (oops, he just pushed me aside and took over there, hope she’s well enough to read it!).

  12. Hey Banbury, thanks for caring about me. I am fine thanks for asking and have been out harrasing the other cats in the neighbourhood today, Nikki thinks I am back to normal! I’m not amussed about the blog picture being me mind! Meow to you Banbury. xx

  13. Hei Fuzz.

    Just so lovely to read this and hear that the sales assistant took her time with such delight to help you to find the thing you had set your mind to, and then you in turn, took your time to let her know that you are so pleased with her attitude of ‘help’. Also, letting her superior know your satisfaction on the service given by her! Fabulous.

    I make my point to say to the person giving an extra good service and have also said to people who have given me ‘outrageously’ horrid service : “What is wrong with you lot= people in here, are you all stung by a bee or what?!!” (It was late autumn when this happened and the bees were at their nastiest, btw.)
    Take care and do keep well. Have A GRAND WEEKEND. HuGGiz Rii xx

  14. I am by my very nature, loyal! If someone treats me with more than respect, perhaps a personal kindness, much like your lady di, I would be their customer as long as they remained in business!

    I can’t tell you how good it made me feel when I filled out and then sought a young woman’s name for here service well beyond the norm in a Subway in Eatonville, Washington. I tell you those kinds of details becasue I remember them. Think of it…Subway, two hours away on some trip I took over a year ago and I remember the great professional service she gave. Outstanding!

  15. I was thinking about Customer service, and here is a blog, wonderful. I agree with you, we call customer service only we have complaints and not praise them when they do a great service. I work in a customer service, for me customers are number 1, even though I give them a great service for everyone no bias or anything I hear praises only from a few. That is fine we just keep on doing it. Customer service has become bad now they push too much don’t really help what we need and what we don’t. I am glad she gave you a terrific service.

  16. LOL, Marm, I’m sure that you look much more pretty than that pic. My mom does embarrassing things to me, too, but what can you do? Here’s some catnip I was saving for a special day, but you deserve it now that you’re under the weather. Feel better soon. Love, Banbury.

    LOL, Rii, that’s great about the bees comment!! How perfect. Huggs!!

    Wow, Gregg, that is a good memory!! (great to see you back, too. Missed you) Huggs.

    It’s weird, isn’t it, Chris? But I think that I’m going to make an effort to praise good service (as well as continue to complain about bad service!). Huggs.

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