Tim wrote about kindness recently. It’s been on my mind too. So has currency.
I’ve been thinking about currency because of my trip to Portugal (Go! Great place). I had to deal with Euros, which are actually really cool coins and bills
But an experience on the way home made me realize that the one Universal Currency is kindness.
I always try to be extra kind to airline gate agents. No one gets more grief than they do from tired, frustrated travelers. When the system breaks down (as it often does) we expect them to be able to fix our predicament, along with hundreds of others. They get yelled at frequently.
So, again, I try to be extra friendly and kind to them.
I was facing a long transatlantic flight, and I decided to inquire about the cost of a seat upgrade. The gate agent – let’s call her Ava – was having trouble getting the computer to bring up my reservation. It was “restricted” for some reason (probably my little known role as a member of Her Majesty’s Secret Service). But I digress.
I didn’t get upset. I made a joke. She made a joke back. We both genuinely laughed.
It took a few minutes and the help of a colleague for Ava to finally pull up my record. She quoted a fare supplement that I thought was reasonable so I told her I’d take it. But now the machine refused to let her enter my credit card info.
“You know what? I’m just going to give you the seat. Have a good flight,” said Ava as she handed me a new boarding pass.
Is that a choir I hear singing?
Perhaps Ava’s shareworthy service would have occurred even if I hadn’t been extra friendly and kind. But it sure didn’t hurt. I thanked her again as we boarded and I headed to my upgraded seat in an empty row.
Ava had the power to make a customer happy and she did it with the Universal Currency of Kindness. Do your employees have that tool?
- Can your service technician say “No charge, we’ll catch you next time” when the tripped breaker takes five minutes to reset at the home of that senior?
- Can your shift manager comp a dessert for that pre-teen who is taking her mom out for Mother’s Day?
- Are your employees encouraged to keep a stash of discount coupons that they can offer customers who are buying qualified products or services?
The Universal Currency of Kindness builds good will.
Good will builds customer loyalty.
You can bet I’ll be thinking about Ava’s “friendly” airline the next time I’m booking a flight.