Sunday, September 22, 2013

Muchas Gracias

I made some smart investments in the last few weeks and I must say they’ve really paid off.

This had nothing to do with the stock market. I was working in the area of human capital and all I did was send a simple message: Thank you.

That’s it. I just expressed gratitude to people who had helped me out and in return I was rewarded with a chronic attack of the warm and fuzzies.

My first acknowledgement went to Ronit Keith, general manager of the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Toronto where I stayed earlier this month.

I simply told her the truth, which was that I was impressed by the courtesy and professionalism of her staff.

I know that’s their job—it is the hospitality industry, after all—but I felt that these people were particularly hospitable.

I’ve been in too many situations where the “help” is anything but helpful. And I find I’m quick to complain but not nearly as fast to compliment.

I wanted to change that, so I took five minutes to shoot Ms. Keith an email and got a response the next morning.

“I am thrilled to get your note and thank you for taking the time to let me know,” she wrote. “I have already shared it with my team! You’ve made our day!”

And her email, in turn, made my day.

Next up was Rev. Will Ingram at St. Andrew’s Church in Toronto. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was riding by the church on the way to Niagara Falls when I noticed the sign outside the church saying “Remember this day that you are loved.”

Safe and Sound

Those were just the right words at just the right moment. I wrote Rev. Ingram an email to say how the message had comforted me and to share my 9/11 post. I received a very nice response and made a Facebook buddy to boot.

I was in such a good mood that I even wrote a nice email to my bank.

I had a received a call from Kevin Reynolds, an executive at the JPMorgan Chase’s Water Street branch, who told me that a customer had found my debit card on the floor of the bank and turned it over to his staff.

I nearly keeled over. I never lose my debit card. I always put it back in my wallet after I use it. How could this have happened?

Well, it happened pretty easily. I had been in that branch earlier in the day after stopping by a nearby Verizon store to pick up my iPhone 4.

I was talking on the phone when I walked into the bank and I started experiencing some pretty serious buyer's remorse.

This thing is too expensive, I’ll never use most of the apps, and what the hell am I doing with a smart phone when I can barely work the DVR?

I was so thoroughly distracted that I managed to drop my debit card and not even notice.

After meeting and thanking Mr. Reynolds, I thought about writing a note to the branch manager, but then I decided to go right to the to the top and tapped out a note to Jamie Dimon, Chase’s chairman, president and CEO.

Again, I just told the truth and I got a nice note from a woman on Mr. Dimon’s staff.

“We received your note and appreciate that you took the time to recognize Kevin Reynolds,” she wrote. “We are pleased that Kevin helped you with the responsive and efficient customer serve that you deserve. We will thank Kevin for his efforts.”

So there you have it. Three brief emails yielded enormous returns in good will.

I may not know much about bulls and bears, but I think I can teach Wall Street a thing or two about striking it rich.


Ron said...

"So there you have it. Three brief emails yielded enormous returns in good will."


You GO, Rob! I think that's AWESOME! It's amazing how when we give (genuinely with our heart) good will is returned.

And THANK GOD someone found your debt card on the floor and returned it - whew! That's one of my biggest fears.

You're good guy, Rob, with a good heart. So good things come to YOU!

You're RICH!

Have a faaaaaaaaabulous week, buddy!

Rob K said...

Thank you so much, Ron!

You, too, are a fine human being with a huge heart. And good things are heading your way.

Take care and have a great week, buddy!

Anonymous said...

It really is amazing what a simple "thank you" can do. About a week ago my boss thanked me for doing my job and I legit was floored. The email changed my mood from a sour monday morning to a "lets bust some shit out at work" day. Thank you can be a powerful thing to say!

Rob K said...

Yes, it surely can, so that's why I'm trying to do it more often.

"lets bust some shit out at work"

--love it!

Bijoux said...

Wow! It's rare for people to take the time to thank a service provider.....much easier to complain when you're angry than to give thanks when you are glad.

I always tried to thank my kids' teachers, esp in high school when parent involvement dwindles. They seemed thrilled to hear something positive!!!

Now I'm in the mood to thank someone!

Rob K said...

Hey, Bijoux!

Yeah, I realized I'm awfully quick to complain, but I rarely tip my hat to deserving people.

It only takes a few minutes and it can really cheer people up.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Brilliant! And doesn't it feel good when your notes are acknowledged with pleasure! :)

Years ago now, a women's magazine here in England ran a little competition in its letters page. It asked readers to send in stories of how someone (usually a stranger) had helped or encouraged them in the course of their day, or done something beyond the call of duty. There was a little tagline that said something about 'brickbats being easier to hand out than bouquets' but that we should take the time to thank people who helped us, and raise a smile or two.

Readers would send in their stories every week and they would send a real bouquet to the person they thought most deserving: perhaps a shop assistance who had provided a chair for someone who wasn't feeling well and called someone they needed. Perhaps someone had stopped and helped change a tyre.

I never forgot that simple lesson. It is easier to complain than congratulate, but so much nicer to congratulate and make someone's day - and it needn't cost us anything at all.

Rob K said...

Hi, Jay:

It feels great to receive those happy notes.

And I love that bouquet idea. They should bring back and bring it over here!

A lot of people don't realize that thanking people for their help makes you feel good, too. And it requires so little effort.

So I'll take this time to thank you and all my beautiful blogging buddies for your support!

Love to one and all!

V said...

rob, this is an awesome example of what we all need to do from time to time. i'm quick to write a letter when i'm wronged, but should also do so when someone does something right. i will take surveys on the bottom of my receipt and tell a company that someone has helped me, but i probably should and could do more of that. thanks for the reminder. it does matter and makes the other person feel great!

Rob K said...

Thanks, Val! It's better to spread love than to spread hate!