The Cost of Being Nice – $11.50

You may have seen some of the morning news segments back in December about how several bars and restaurants across the country have used negative describers to identify their patrons. The ridiculous part is that once closing their tabs, the customers have the opportunity to see the negative words used to describe them.

So, imagine the breath of fresh air I felt when I read about what Red Robin did for a customer in North Carolina recently. A pregnant woman came to the restaurant with her family, and the manager not only comped her meal, but used a promo code wishing her well, “MOM 2 BEE Good LUC.”

This story could have just been another feel-good tale. In readingreciept the interview with the manager, his response about being attentive to a customer caught my eye. He said that the key to having a happy customer is to “listen to them, and make sure they leave feeling appreciated and valued. If our guests know we welcome their feedback, I think they’ll talk with us and speak up … to say they had a positive and satisfying experience with us, and hopefully also to say they’ll be back again soon.”

Simple enough, right? Yet so many of us forget this too often. With all the strategies, tactics and action plans we develop for our businesses and organizations, it is the day-to-day activities that we can do that can have the most impact on a customer relationship.

And it all begins with what the manager said: listen to them. And listening is not always something done with just the ears. Sometimes, we can listen with our eyes and see things that we can adjust or enhance.

That feeling of being valued and appreciated is not something that will most likely encourage a customer to use your services in the first place. But that feeling of being valued and appreciated is something that will have a customer coming back for your services time and again.