I caught a segment on the Today show this morning about rude people. Not only did they focus on rude people — like loud cell phone talkers and such — but they also cited specific rude things companies do. My personal favorite is the guy who couldn’t get AOL to cancel his account. (Here is published detail of the conversation.)
I believe that kindness in business is one of the keys to creating advocates. Here are a couple examples of kindness I’ve heard or witnessed lately:
1. We have a client who has a chain of building supply stores. They sell building materials to the contracting business. They don’t charge their clients when the purchase is really small (I believe the number is under $10). It’s their way of saying thanks to their regulars. And it also helps them save money by not having to do the invoicing/accounting on such a small amount.
2. Publix is kind company. And it seems to be paying off. I’m not sure how they do this but I think they empower their employees to do random acts of kindness all day long. It is amazing really. From the guy in produce who tears open a bulk bag to get a customer a single onion. To the deli guy who gives the first slice off the cutter to his customer to enjoy. I think the karma they create makes the store experience better. I once saw a lady go out of her way to welcome newcomers by telling them places to go and things to do in town. Go to any Publix and I bet if you keep your eyes open you’ll witness an act of kindness.
So, I have an idea. Share you stories with me. Let’s create a little space right here to share stories of company kindness.