View Full Version : How important is kindness in your business?

09-11-2008, 08:16 AM
I've been making some new connections in my community and one of those is with the couple that publishes the monthly newspaper that is mailed to our area. (Distribution approximately 5k).

Yesterday I received an email from them asking if I could write an article for the next edition, when I asked if they had any topics in mind this was the reply

"Do you have any interest in writing something about being civil and incorporating the old adage about honey/vinegar into it? Forgiveness, etc.? There seems to be a need for that around these parts."

That, of course, makes me wonder what's going on around here, again... small town politics are nasty business. I know that a bunch of the businesses here are trying to form a Chamber of Commerce and we are in the middle of election season...

Anyway, I'm trying to think of a safe way to jump into this topic and write about it in a way that will make people think and maybe even laugh... after all, my payment for this article will be an ad for my company I'd rather skip the article and the ad than leave a bad impression! So if I come at the topic from a business angle it becomes how important is it to be kind and civil to your customers - so what do you think?

09-11-2008, 08:25 AM
I think kindness is very important. Not just from the standpoint of the idea that being nice to your customers will most likely bring more sales, but because customers are people and deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.

09-12-2008, 12:56 PM
If you are worried about offending the other local businesses (which is kind of what I assume) just flip it around and write it from the customer perspective when you write it. Put in some anecdotes of your own from bad service but change them so you are referring to when you lived someplace else.

I think you can make this effective yet very tame.

09-12-2008, 05:28 PM
I think it's important to be kind in and out of business.

As far as the article why does it need to offend anyone. Point to business that are benefiting from being kind to their customers. Look for happy customer service examples. When mentioning the unkind side don't mention anyone by name.

Regardless of whether they are or not most people and companies will view themselves as being kind. When you talk about unkind companies none are really going to attach that to their own company and think it's about them.

09-13-2008, 08:46 AM
I kind of see being civil and being kind to customers at really two different levels. Really i see being kind to customers as being civil but with the honey on it.

When i was doing retail sales there was definitely a difference between the way i treated customers, not because i thought they deserved to be treated different but on a more so sub conscious level. Some customers would come in on the defensive straight away you knew they wanted something but they wanted to question everything and just really be painful, while you could try to be kind to these customers it did not make a difference so generally you just ended up being civil to them. Then you had customers come in who were easy to deal with and you just kind of fell into being kind to them, they may have been no different to the other customers but it was the way they put it across.

I do also think that customers could do with knowing what difference being pleasant can make when they go into a shop.

09-13-2008, 11:11 AM
I do also think that customers could do with knowing what difference being pleasant can make when they go into a shop.

I think you're right about that Joel. I know people who complain about the bad service they get, and then they go into a shop and they're completely rude. If I were a salesperson who was confronted by that all day, I'd get a little short with people too.

I always try to be friendly and polite to salespeople and waitstaff. It does pay off in better service.

09-13-2008, 10:11 PM
Yeah i have no doubt that it pays off, i try to be friendly and amicable to everyone that i encounter in store's. There are odd exception's where maybe they have made some claims and then later changed the story or flat out denied saying something, these sort of cases, i tend to either walk away from the purchase, or tell them what i think (keeping it clean, and at least civil). But i do think that sometimes sales people do need to get a dose back when they are forgetting the point that the people they are serving in the store, are paying their wage.