As a motivational speaker, I travel a LOT and I still have a vivid memory of an intriguing experience I had several years ago at the DCA airport. I picked a rental car from the National Car Rental lot and pulled up to the checkout kiosk. And when the young man turned around to take my information, something REALLY interesting happened. Now, before I tell you want happened, I need you to know that I was in what I call, a “neutral” emotional state. I wasn’t particularly happy, certainly not sad – just kind of neutral.
He turned around, took one look at me and broke into a HUGE smile and said, “Well HI! How ARE you?” He actually looked like he KNEW me and was REALLY REALLY happy to see me again. It startled me so much that, as I handed him my paperwork, I smiled back at him and said, “Well, I’m doing fine, thanks! And how are you today?”
He almost looked GIDDY when he replied, “I’m GREAT!”
Oh now I am VERY curious. Thinking he might have won the lottery or just seen Jennifer Aniston, I say to him, “Young man, I’m just wondering – why are you so great?”
Without a moment’s hesitation he said, “Well, BECAUSE! I have such AMAZING customers! They are just like you – they are ALWAYS laughing and smiling!”
I said to him, ”Oh no, no, young man. Happy smiling customers are not just showing up for you – YOU are creating them.”
He paused for a second and then replied, with that same great smile, “Well. I don’t know how they got here – I’m just glad they CAME!” And he laughed again.
I drove away, thinking about what had just happened. Here’s what I concluded:
- That guy gets WAY more happy customers that the average customer service provider
- If I had a company and was hiring – I would have tried to steal him to come work with me
- He reflected REALLY well on National Car Rental (I’ve told this story over a hundred times)
- He probably enjoys his life more than most people
- He made ME really really happy
- If he’d been selling something else, I probably would have bought it
Bottom line: If you treat people like you are genuinely happy to see them – like THEY are so wonderful, that just seeing their face makes your day – they will LOVE you and sing your praises to anyone who will listen.
I mean, after all, if you think THEY are so fabulous – you must be really brilliant.