Paying it Forward
by Aaryn Slafky
The other day, I was at a local fast food restaurant (hint: they use cows in their advertising to sell their chicken) with my kids. An older gentleman came in as we were preparing to leave. He ordered only a small coffee. An impulse hit me and a teachable moment for my kids was born. We purchased a chocolate chip cookie and my 9-year-old daughter delivered it, telling him that we thought he might enjoy a little sweet treat with his coffee. He graciously accepted and we shared a moment of mutual joy…for just a dollar. We left with everyone grinning ear to ear.
What if you could have those same kinds of moments with your customers? What if you could put a grin on customers’ faces with a small gesture? Perhaps it’s handing a bottle of ice cold water to a customer paying his bill on a hot, sweaty day? Or sending a follow-up email to express congratulations after a customer mentions his teen has been accepted to college. Sharing gaming resource sites with the grandparent ordering Internet for her grandkids to use while visiting. Sending a box of tissues with the technician to give to a customer who mentions she is fighting ragweed allergies when she calls in to report the trouble. Perhaps your team puts together a “kindness cabinet” stocked with small items to use for these ideal moments.
It’s about delivering the unexpected. The cookie was small but mighty. We shared a moment of joy with a stranger. The impact was on both the giver and the receiver. It feels like, more than ever, those kind words or actions are needed. It’s time to insert more joy into our days. What small acts of kindness will you come up with to make a lasting impression on the customers you serve?