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Thread: Are we too inclined to complain, less inclined to compliment?

  1. #1
    CaLoonie Buddyboy546's Avatar
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    I am interested in how many of us make a concerted effort to compliment good work at restaurants and other service oriented establishments. Most of us would complain when we are delivered poor food or the service is poor, but when we sit through a meal over an hour long and all is “fine”, do we recognize the effort involved in maintaining that level?

    In restaurants, if the wait person has done an attentive job, I like to thank them at the end with a sincere “Good job” at the end. If the food is particularly tasty, I ask that the wait staff please let the chef know I really enjoyed it. It strikes me that it must be arduous to toil away unseen in the background only ever to hear about problems. A sincere compliment would likely brighten their day and costs nothing.

    I have fun reviewing restaurants in Trip Advisor. I always take the approach that if they genuinely tried to please me, they do not deserve a negative review, at least in the overall rating. If the wait person did a notably good job, they earn a mention by name in the review. It helps them strive to reach a good standard, makes them feel deservedly good and, again, costs nothing.

    The same approach holds true for any service oriented response given to me. Hard work deserves recognition. Particularly good work deserves being brought to someone else's attention. Emails to a company are so easy and totally free that meaningful feedback like this should be very frequent, but is it? Of course, the reverse is also true. Poor service from someone also deserves to be jumped on when it is at the customer's expense and I am tenacious when not taken seriously at a higher level. Companies in general appreciate it when people take the time to provide meaningful feedback. Are we generally more inclined to complain than we are to compliment, though? Note that Smartcanucks has a dedicated “rant” section but no equivalent “kudos” section. Are we collectively too inclined to be complainers?
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    bhlombardy, Ciel, walkonby and 1 others like this.

  2. #2
    no more door to door! :) walkonby's Avatar
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    @Buddyboy546 this is a topic I have discussed a few times with family members. Our adult kids get embarrassed by me sometimes when we are out as I always engage the server. If they are the chatty, joking enthusiastic type I love that and return the gab.

    When service and the meal have been over the top we feel appreciated as customers so I usually over tip to show them we also appreciated their efforts. Same with surveys, I follow up many times to give compliments to all the staff that gave us that positive experience.

    Naturally bad service or bad's a sh*t show from me. I am vocal enough in the moment to get the situation remedied or I follow up online with an email inquiry.
    When we do leave we have often agreed they will not see our business again.

    But since retirement a number of years ago I have come to appreciate real genuine hard workers that do these service jobs well and often times become invisible to many customers. I don't let that happen, they will always get interaction from me. It can sure make the dining out experience more enjoyable.

    babies teach us acceptance

  3. #3
    Smart Canuck
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    Good thread...

    I'm like Walkonby here... I like to chum it up with staff. While restaurants are what come to mind first, I do like to chum it up with food servers, and retail cashiers alike. We're all humans, and deserve to be treated like humans.

    While a tip is certainly appro for places like a restaurant, it isnt so much at a retail store. Regardless of the venue, I also like to express my response in a more direct approach than (only) a financial perk.

    If I receive the level of attention that is no more (and no less) than someone going through the motions, that's OK. That's what I came for. To receive my goods/service for the money I care to spend. But when someone exudes enthusiasm and expresses what I feel is genuine concern for my satisfaction, then it deserves my attention... and theirs. If they come off happy, and joyful, I like to reciprocate by being as such back to them. And the end of the transaction I like to ensure that I appreciate what they've done and how they served me by telling them as much directly.

    It's not hard to pay someone a compliment for a job well done, and satisfaction received. "I really liked the way you helped me out. Thanks..." or some such. All it takes is a moment for us to realize how WE feel when someone recognizes us for OUR efforts to realize what it does for someone else too. It's a great gift.

    Now if they went way above and beyond, then that deserves more. It deserves not only the compliment to them, but a message to their supervisor, boss(es), etc so that not only do YOU recognize them, but so that someone else does as well.

    What I also believe is that the more we recognize good service, the more we encourage it to occur more often. If someone puts the effort out and never gets recognized, then they uiltimately may think it doesnt matter. But if they are recognized, then they're more likely to keep it up... it might even spread.


    Several years ago, I walked into the Simmons mattress store in Halifax, NS. I was upfront with the sales person that I lived in New Brunswick and was NOT going to purchase a mattress from him or his store. I just wanted to see what was available. He gave me his full and undivided attention. As well he offered his assessment of me as a sleeper, and his advice on what I should be looking for. He was amazing, as if I was going to buy 6 beds... and if I had any means to buy a mattress from him, I would have. But I could not. However, I knew what mattress I wanted by the time I left the store, and bought that mattress when I got home to NB. He was purely happy to do his job. He enjoyed it and was incredible even though he was guaranteed to NOT make a sale from me, it didnt matter. I wrote both that store manager, AND Simmons corporate and told them about this stellar salesperson by name and hoped that he would be recognized. Simmons corporate wrote me back saying they would defintely contact the store. The manager also replied to my letter to thank me, but as well he confirmed that Simmons corporate had been in contact with him as well. While I couldnt offer this salesperson a commission or tip, it was worth my effort to make sure he was complimented and recognized by his employers.
    Ciel, GoJays, coupon girl and 3 others like this.

  4. #4
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    I agree,good service deserves a good tip or compliment ,which I always do .Last few week I was in sobeys and the cashier went above and beyond ,lovely to talk too ,no complains about my few coupons ,bagged great so I approached the supervisor ,then the manager was nearby ,well we will have to make sure "I cant remember her name " gets $5.00 for her great service ,so I thought that was lovely .I have filled out comment cards also ,but when its bad service I like walkonby will speak up or call the store the very next day .
    Natalka and walkonby like this.

  5. #5
    Sith Lady and Cool Kid Darth Penguin's Avatar
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    I took the brood out last week to a smart restaurant. It was one Mr P used to take me to before he died and I'd promised to take them one day. It was the day before lilP's 14th birthday*.

    The food was as excellent as I'd remembered and the staff attentive. lilP commented on how good his food was and the chef came out to talk to him. He engaged all three of the brood asking them about what they had enjoyed and then sent complimentary desserts to our table. I was super impressed. The wait staff got 25% tip. And I've been praising the restaurant on my local social media.

    In the past I have complimented staff, especially wait staff. On one occasion, I intervened when an out of line customer was being a b!@$h and made sure management knew it wasn't the servers fault.

    I try to compliment at the time.

    * This year I have a 14yo lilP, Penguinette1 turns 21 and P2 will turn 18... I don't know how this happened since I'm only 25...

    Short answer : no Long answer : NOOOOOOOOOOO!

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  6. #6
    Canadian Genius Tweets77's Avatar
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    I absolutely will make sure that anyone in any service industry who is even polite and does their job to the best of their ability, get a sincere "thank you" and I make sure to look them in the eye when I say it. I just spent nearly 2 weeks in my local hospital and there was not one person who did not do their very best to make sure that I was comfortable and had everything I needed. Even the people from the lab apologized when it was time yet again to draw more blood, or check my vitals in the middle of the night. The food service made sure that I always had something to tempt my palette when I was allowed to eat solid food again. I could go on but suffice it to say that there are a lot of people who do not get paid enough for what they deal with every day.
    Darth Penguin and dededi like this.

  7. #7
    Smart Canuck
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    I've noticed that when I take the time to look at the person I'm engaging with (whether a cashier, waitress, bartender, bus driver or whatever), meet their eyes, greet them sincerely with a smile and a hello, a goodbye or a thank you, they respond positively to me and I have no cause to complain because I get great service. So I try to do that will all my interactions.

    I think we sometimes don't really think about the fact that the one providing the service is an individual, mostly because we are busy doing whatever it is that we are doing and we are focusing inwardly and not really paying attention to what and who is around us. And because of that, we often miss noticing the nice things people do, the good service we receive, the kindness someone extends. But when something doesn't go as we wish, the dissatisfaction bursts through the bubble around us, and we notice, and we complain.

    About 10 years ago, the woman who was our director's admin assistant was a fabulous lady that everyone loved and enjoyed working with. One day I stopped and told her how much I appreciated her hard work and that the whole team loved her. She was really moved. No one else at the office had told her that before. I've used that as a guide since to remember to show my appreciation to others, and not just for the extraordinary, but for the small things as well. The smiles that I see in response are pretty awesome.

  8. #8
    Must Coupon, Must Save :) SassyAshley's Avatar
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    I hate to say it but it does seem to be human nature and not just with services provided.

    Our company recognized this a year or two ago when we started working on some different strategies with our Managers and it was realized that most staff assumed if managers asked to talk it was a negative. So we started working on initiatives to acknowledge the good including managers do now ask you to talk to praise you. Also we now have what we call above and beyond and anytime staff does something we acknowledge as above and beyond their jobs they are considered for a gift card (not sure on the amount). As well if a staff member makes a suggestion on how to improve our practices or procedures and it is put in place they receive a gift card.

    I have to say just having my manager acknowledge I did something well was nice. I am not one to seek praise and personally do not like it in front of a large group but it was nice to sit down for a positive reason vs negative.
    Natalka likes this.
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