Have you ever experienced lousy service in a restaurant or hotel and wished there was a way to improve customer service quality? Ever had the pain compounded by staff who obviously expect a “tip?”
I wonder what inspires people to improve customer service quality: anticipating a tip at the end of an interaction, or responding to a tip offered at the beginning?
I experimented to find out the answer for myself. Instead of evaluating service and then tipping when the service is very good (my usual practice), I tried tipping in advance, giving service staff a small gratuity at the beginning of each service interaction. While this might seem backwards, it makes sense on a few levels.
By tipping in advance, I removed a question mark from the mind of the service provider (“Is this guy going to tip me?”) and also from my own mind (“Should I tip this person? If so, how much?”). This removed a lot of the awkwardness that can go along with service-based situations and turned up some interesting and pleasing results.
As I went proactively “tipping through life,” remarkable things happened. I noticed more smiles all around, plenty of extra-mile efforts on my behalf, and considerate personal follow-up throughout my travels.
Word spread quickly about me among staff in hotels and restaurants. People smiled more, or perhaps it just appeared that way. The experiment showed that when I went the extra mile, so did my service providers.
Key Learning Point To Improve Customer Service Quality
When a service provider receives acknowledgment and encouragement from the very beginning, they may do much more to improve customer service quality. Everyone appreciates being appreciated, occasionally in advance.
Action Steps To Improve Customer Service Quality
You, too, can enjoy better service. Express your appreciation early to improve customer service quality. Try tipping your way through life and you may find pleasing results like I have.
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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “UP! Your Service” books and founder of UP! Your Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit UpYourService.com.
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