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Random Acts of Kindness

I recently attended an INC Magazine event where I had the pleasure of meeting Gary Vaynerchuk, author of the Thank you Economy.

This is a picture of Mike and Cheryl LaBaw of Sound Telecom with Gary Vaynerchuk at the Inc 5000 event

In an earlier blog post, the Recipe for Quality Customer Service, I describe the impact of what I learned from reading his book.  During one of the breakout sessions at the INC 5000 event, my husband and I had the opportunity of a lifetime to actually speak with and ask Gary questions. How cool is that?

Gary is full of life and is a very colorful guy. You never have to wonder what’s on his mind.  But I did have a couple of questions I was dying to ask.  In our discussion, Gary not only answered the questions but offered insight as to what our next steps should be. But the advice I got the most out of was this, simply put: random act of kindness. Yes, just call one of your customers up and give them something.  Ask them, “What can I do for you?”  Then do it! This was an eye opener and very powerful statement.  It continues to resonate with me.

While we were heading for vacation shortly thereafter, we checked-in for our US Airways flight.  I pulled my phone out of my purse to get our flight information only to leave it at the counter.  (Now this is the second time I’ve forgotten my phone in an airport). Thankfully, I realized it before we got too far, so I headed back to the counter.  When I arrived at the counter, the US Air customer service rep was making an announcement about the forgotten phone.  I walked up and told her it was my phone, she joked with me by asking how I could confirm that fact. So, I told her my name and what color the phone was, and she declared me the winner as she handed me my phone.  She was a delight!

After clearing security, we continued to the gate to wait for the boarding of our flight. During the normal boarding activities, we heard our names being called for ID checks.  We approached the counter and presented our passports for verification. As luck would have it, it was the same agent I had spoken with at the ticket counter.  At that point I say, “We really have to stop meeting like this.” She laughed and told us to hold on one moment for our new seat assignments.

As I looked at the boarding passes she gave us, I was completely amazed as we’d been upgraded to first class!  This was totally unexpected and such a nice surprise.
That was a random act of kindness if I had ever experienced one. What a way to drive the concept home.  This is the point Gary had been pressing, wow!  What an impact on the customer experience.

I was so impressed by those experiences that it has become my mission to WOW our customers at Sound Telecom.

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About Cheryl LaBaw

Cheryl L. LaBaw joined Sound Telecom as Director of Customer Relations in 2012. She is responsible for maintaining a high standard of service quality through ongoing monitoring and coaching of our call center agents. Prior to her arrival at Sound Telecom, Cheryl invested over 31 years in the customer care and service areas with United Airlines. She brings a wealth of knowledge and ideas from her experiences there in addition to working over 13 years in their call center. Cheryl’s skills in conflict resolution and customer satisfaction make her an excellent addition to the management team. As a Flight Attendant and Safety Professional she provided a more personal touch to customer concerns and safety issues. Mrs. LaBaw is passionate about health issues and has served her community by volunteering at Swedish Medical Center for three years in the Community Health Education Department. She also supports various youth organizations and child health and welfare organizations.