A little while back I stopped in front of our local Chinese restaurant but didn’t get out of my car because there was a commotion going on in front of the restaurant. Lucy, the Chinese’s co-owner with her husband Leo, was holding her one-year old daughter Jessie in her arms and was shouting at a customer who was sitting at the open area of the restaurant alongside. Lucy was furious. She was shouting at someone who had come into the shop and had complained. She continued shouting until the centre manager had to come along to calm her down and tell her to get back into her shop.
Lucy takes great pride in her restaurant and the Chinese cuisine that she serves to customers. Perhaps she is young and hot headed but she has a good heart. To get her into this state of frustration she must have been provoked by extreme rudeness on the part of the customer.
This may be an extreme example but it does highlight the abuse that small business owners receive from the customers. Small business owners go out of their way to please customers but they don’t always even receive a simple thank you.
How often do your customers thank you for the service they receive from you? When you have gone out of your way to help customers and go the extra mile for them have you even received a polite thank you? How important is a simple recognition of a thank you to you as a small business owner?
It doesn’t only happen in a small businesses that you receive no thanks. People do their jobs in medium and large companies but seldom receive a thank you for putting in their best work possible, going the extra mile and toiling after hours or even at home to complete important work. Yet there are excellent small business owners and managers who go out of their way to recognise people who work hard in the business and achieve outstanding results.
I suppose you can also put the issue on the other foot and say that small business owners need to thank customers for patronising their small business. All it takes is a simple thank you expressed verbally or through an email or handwritten note. A simple thank you let’s customers know that you appreciate them.
In the winter I popped into a local McDonald’s for a takeaway coffee. While I was standing at the serving counter a school teacher was there with several young girls and boys. When the McDonald’s staff member had given the food to the teacher and children one of the young girls stepped up to the counter and in a polite tone thanked the staff member for serving them and told her how much she appreciated it. Yes, you may say that she is the product of an excellent private school that teaches basic good manners but from what I heard I believe she was genuine and sincere in her praise.
A small thank you said in the right tone can go a long way to make people feel appreciated and recognised whether they are small business owners or customers.