A Competitive Advantage: Be Nice

A Common Sense Customer Service Tactic

A Competitive Advantage: Be Nice image Amazing formulaA Competitive Advantage: Be NiceThe other night I did a speech that was more about motivation than it was about business and customer service. The audience included college students in their teens and 20’s, people in the prime of their business careers and retired people. The client asked me to deliver a simple message about going from being average to being amazing.

If you’ve been reading my customer service articles or watching my weekly videos on YouTube, then you know my definition of being amazing is about consistently being better than average. And above average means exactly that. You don’t have to be over-the-top amazing. No, you just have to be a little better than average. The key is to be better than average, all of the time. That’s what amazement is about. It is consistency that makes being above average, even just a little above average, amazing.

So, I shared five amazement tactics, and it was the fifth and final tactic that created a surprising response, and the subject of this article. And, it was simple:

Be nice.

The reaction from the audience was surprising. They unexpectedly applauded. I wondered why they would applaud at something so simple – something that seemed like just common sense. More on that in just a moment.

I went on to explain what it took to be nice. I’ve written about this type of thing before, but here is the spin. Nice people do a number of things:

  • They are respectful of others.
  • They do what they say they are going to do. You can count on them.
  • They show up on time, respecting the time of others.
  • They are polite. They say, please and thank you.
  • And, speaking of thank you, they write thank you notes.

That last point, writing thank you notes, was a call-back to the beginning of the speech when I talked about how my parents taught me to do the right thing. That started when my mom made me write thank you notes to anyone that gave me a gift. That was a great lesson, taught at a very young age, about doing the right thing; being nice and showing appreciation to people who are nice to you.

After the speech I asked my wife, who was in the audience, why she thought the audience applauded. She said that so many people aren’t nice. It’s not that they are rude or mean, although sometimes they are. No, they just don’t smile and say thank you. And, when you encounter someone who is nice, you feel so much better about doing business with them.

In business, being nice is part of delivering customer service. It’s the positive attitude, the respect you show to the customer, and the way you make them feel appreciated. It’s an essential part of any customer service strategy. The best system isn’t complete without the positive feelings the customer experiences from doing business with you.

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