Let’s chat about something that you don’t typically think about in terms of money… customer service.
I am a firm believer in letting businesses know how they’re doing. If I have a horrible experience (and it takes a lot for me to consider it “horrible”), then I’m either asking for a manager or searching for a Contact link on their website before the day is over. Because I yield my power of complaint so freely, I also make a point to go out of my way to praise those who are doing a good job. I’ll find a manager to brag on a great server or let a customer service agent know they are outstanding at what they do. It’s only fair that the pendulum swing both ways.
So where does money come into play? Well, when I purchase a product or service, I’m choosing to hand over MY money for something that has a certain expectation. When that expectation is not met, it isn’t just about a bad experience anymore, it’s about wasted money. …and nobody likes to waste money (especially me who doesn’t have a ton to waste). Most places, if they’re smart, will kindly apologize and try to rectify the situation by taking back your product or offering a refund (sometimes via gift cards for future visits). This does not mean that you should suddenly find reasons to complain about everything so you can get free stuff. (I know you were thinking it!) It means that you should respect your money enough to care when it’s been disrespected by others.
So what about all of those times you have a great experience? Be generous! Leave an extra big tip for the server who not only remembered every detail of your “hold this, add this, on the side that” order, but also never let your drink go empty or your head whip around searching for him. Buy two of those special something at the Ma & Pa store and give one to your friend. Write a thank you note (on actual stationary with a real pen and everything) and stick it in the mail for that customer service agent who found a way to save you a couple bucks on your cable bill after every one else you talked to said it was impossible. Not only will you feel better, but you will most likely make someone’s entire day. And when people who are trusted with your money notice that you’re going out of your way to be nice to them, chances are they’re gonna go out of their way to be nice to you. Generosity is something you have to give to receive. I think, at least!
How often do you drop money without even thinking about it? A coffee, a magazine, a drive-thru … doesn’t seem like much at the time, but it all adds up. So why are we so quick to hold back a couple dollars for someone who did something exceptional for us? Or slow to ask for those dollars back when we feel we’ve been gypped out of them? It’s your money – spend it well.