It was a busy intersection. My taxi was stopped at the light. Pedestrians walked in front us.

Look to the left. I saw a young man walking toward the crosswalk, his cell-phone perched by his ear. He was obviously in a heated conversation.

Look to the right. An elderly woman was stalled in the middle of the crosswalk on her mobility scooter. In about 20 seconds I would either witness a massive traffic jam, or a horrific accident.

I instantly reached for the door handle so I could jump out and help. But, that’s when I witnessed something phenomenal. While all the other pedestrians kept moving, the young man with the cell phone saw the woman’s situation and stopped his heated conversation. He jammed the cell phone in his pocket and ran quickly to help the elderly woman in distress.

But as the young man stepped behind the woman’s scooter, she turned and did something unexpected. She yelled at him. I couldn’t hear the conversation but from the young man’s gestures it was clear the woman wasn’t sharing her gratitude at all. He shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

How does this situation reflect the corporate world today? It looks like a service crisis to me. Most companies and service providers are like all the people who just keep walking-living by the rule of “It’s not my problem.” But, there are some special people who step out of their way to place your needs above their own. Yet because it’s so rare and unexpected, we often don’t show them the gratitude they deserve.

Here’s lies the challenge to you — and to all of us. To truly uplift service, we need to recognize and appreciate those who give it to us. Recognition means that you and a great service provider both walk away with a smile. It means making the effort to acknowledge great service. Saying “thank you”. Stepping out of your own way to write a letter, tell a manager, send an email, blog about it, tweet about it or tell the story on your Facebook page.

Imagine how you can uplift service by telling the manager at a hotel how well a bellman treated you. Imagine how much you can uplift service in your community by writing a letter to your postal office, garbage collector, or utility company — those people who rarely receive praise for the essential services they provide. Imagine getting great service from any establishment, in person, on the phone or even through the Internet, and asking right then and there to speak to that person’s manager because you thank and praise the individual who went out of their way to serve you.

When you recognize someone for great service, it tends to gets repeated. And if you want to see how quickly you can elevate the service in your life, here are three simple things you can do.

  1. Take and share a picture. When you receive great service, ask the service provider if you can take their picture. Send it to his or her boss with a comment that reads, “This person’s service makes me love your company.” Or post the picture on your social page and tell the world about this uplifting service provider.
  2. Ask the service provider how they want to be appreciated. A great realtor may not care about impressing her manager, but she may really appreciate for a testimonial for the company website. Recognize people the way they want to be recognized-because they served you the way you wanted to be service.
  3. Click. Click. Click. It takes just a few clicks to show someone you appreciate their service by sending them this article. Perhaps a company you visit frequently. Maybe your hairstylist, your mechanic, or your accountant. Or, maybe it’s that person you meet in the middle your life who goes out of their way to serve you. Send them this article with the comment: “Thank you, and well done! When you read this article, you’ll understand why I’m sending it to you.”

Look for uplifting service. We all have the power to uplift service in the world. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not accomplished only through complaints. Through simple service recognition we can all immediately make a contribution and make the world a better place. Make your contribution now. Send this article to someone who deserves the recognition.

13 replies
  1. Bharati Kejriwal
    Bharati Kejriwal says:

    This rings so true for me! I have recieved great service from providers because I thanked them sincerely and told them how much I appreciated their effort in making suring I was comfortable.

  2. Nahida Sunil
    Nahida Sunil says:

    Loved this article. Am sharing this on FB and with my BNI Chapter Members. Thank you so much!

  3. Zorawar Singh
    Zorawar Singh says:

    Recently we stayed at The Doubletree at the Hilton,Istanbul and we enjoyed shopping for carpets and leather items but were petrified of Quatar Airways rule of 23 kgs only so we used to weigh our bags every evening which was done willingly by the bell boy who used to take our bags and return them with the weight written down.I was impressed by his positive attitude and even gave him a ten on ten on the Hilton tent card placed in the room to appreciate employees along with a generous tip each time.

  4. Tejus Tekalli
    Tejus Tekalli says:

    Well said Ron, a genuine appreciation shall help us get the results in our favour !!!

  5. david
    david says:

    Bang on the button for me, Ron. Most everyone has a passion for significance, so the act of recognition is something that people will remember for a long time to come simply because, like a barely cooked steak, it’s extremely rare!

  6. Roxane joseph
    Roxane joseph says:

    Even if service is bad – which it is in most organisations, (Ron – u need to be so grateful to God for that !) there is generally atleast an iota somewhere there which is gud, so if u r still thankful to the service provider – they generally feel very guilty and everything takes a U turn for the better – so shouting / screaming doesn’t always help – making them feel guilty works like magic and faster than the speed of sound !

    To those of u who haven’t tried that method – pls do.

  7. Nandakumar Nayar
    Nandakumar Nayar says:

    Thks Ron for sharing this piece.Personally I make it a point to convey my appreciation for every act however small it may be.Do unto others what you would want for you………Great!!!

  8. Tiruvasalur
    Tiruvasalur says:

    Dear Ron,

    I have not replied you your earlier mail – yet you persisted and send me a another mail, that spoke of another experience and reminded me of a duty to make the world look a better place. I shall keep your mission going – publish a guy’s photograph to his boss, appreciating a truly good service – yes the habit will catch on and every human would be a better person, the next day – and how truly would he be grateful if himself, being humble, grateful and shall we say generous ! Thank you

  9. Naresh Vassudhev
    Naresh Vassudhev says:

    how true. We always forget to reciprocate with an appreciation. And how well this works for sustained superior service.

    Thanks Ron.

  10. Dan Haygeman
    Dan Haygeman says:

    Dear Ron,

    Thank you for putting some context around specific action I can take to contribute to people who provide me, or someone I witness, great service.

    I confess, I used to resist suggestions that had me do anything involved in writing and sending. Email seemed too ho-hum, and a hand written note, well I’ll get to that when I get home, or when Christmas is over, or perhaps. .

    I just started using a tool called Thank You Pro (iPhone only so far, but it is free in the App Store). It allows me to send a hand signed, physical card through the mail. . . from my iPhone. Now I can do part of what you are suggesting from a cab or waiting for a table at the restaurant.

    No, I don’t own stock in the company. . . but using this app has helped me notice how much better my own mood and energy get when I put what you are suggesting into practice in my own life.


    Dan H.

  11. Muneeb Irfan
    Muneeb Irfan says:

    It’s so true… such little things matter so much. And so often its the little things that we overlook. Being a service provider, I can so much relate to this thought provoking piece of writing.

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