Be nice, it costs nothing

Can you put a price on being nice? The chances are you already have. When you go to a restaurant, do you sometimes tip a little bit more if the serving staff were extra nice/professional/helpful? When you shop somewhere and the assistants are nice (not pushy) and give good advice, you go back next time, right?

Although you cant always equate these experiences to exact amounts, it is easy to see the value in being “nice”.

Of course, sitting here with my coffee it is easy to say these things, and reading them you may well agree, but out in the real world, when we are running at a million miles an hour, it is not always quite so obvious.

We’ve all been there, trying to do 5 things at once, only to get an email or take a phone-call from a customer (or potential customer) with a question. That’s when we need to remember the value of being nice.

In actual fact, the value of being nice far outstrips the cost of being nice. If you go out of your way to be helpful the customer will remember it. Whether you reap the benefit of this now or later, either way it will be remembered.

The same can be applied if you are not so helpful, always remember that.

The actual cost of being helpful is zero, or close to it. If you can greet every request, every phonecall and every email in the same positive manner it really does not cost you anything, but the rewards can be immense!

So next time the phone rings or you hear the chime of a new mail arriving, remember the value of being nice, it’s worth it, I promise!

9 replies
  1. Rarst
    Rarst says:

    Ehm, I remember reading exactly same thing once or twice already. Is this one of those universal marketing truths that are kinda common sense but still people manage to ignore that? 🙂

  2. Jim
    Jim says:

    Yeah, I think most of us have read something similar at one point in time, although in my experience “common sense” is not all that common 😀

    I observed a situation today that made me think of it, so it was one of those spur of the moment posts.

  3. Tertius
    Tertius says:

    I think most people can attest that they really dislike sales people who aren’t nice.

    I had someone really push my Fiancee trying to sell. I’m sorry. You don’t sell by making me buy something. If you try to make me buy something, I’ll leave.

    Your product either sells itself or it doesn’t. End of story.

  4. Lyndi
    Lyndi says:

    ‘Common sense is not all that common’. Too true.

    This whole argument is true to blogging as a whole. Everyone seems to have that selfish attitude that leaves no space to be nice to anyone. It is this selfish ‘I want’ kind of attitude that ruins blogging for so many. Not everything is always just about yourself, sometimes there are things that need to be done without expecting anything in return. Being nice to others is one of those things that should just come automatically. Nice post.

  5. Jim
    Jim says:

    @Tertius: You are completely correct here, I have a short fuse with pushy people too. They just never seem to realise how counterproductive it is.

    @Lyndi: Welcome back, I hope you had a nice couple of days away. I wasn’t aiming this post at blogging but you have brought an interesting perspective to it.

    Personally, with blogging I am playing a numbers game… I meet more and more people as time goes on. A certain percentage of these people are really nice, and I keep in contact with them.

    If I meet 1 in 5 people who turn out to be nice, and end up friends then I think that’s pretty good.

  6. Piggynap
    Piggynap says:

    Hi Jim, hope you had a great xmas!

    I completely agree with this post – it’s amazing how just speaking to someone nice can have such a positive impact on your day. I try to be really upbeat when I’m on the phone – if you smile, even though no one can see you, you sound positive and that comes across on the other end. As long as the person you’re talking to isn’t a complete grump it normally has the right effect!

  7. Jim
    Jim says:

    @Piggynap: Good point about smiling on the phone. I don’t do so much of my work on the phone, mainly via email, but I completely agree that it works…. sometimes the old “counting to 10” trick can also work along side it 😉

    Happy New Year!

  8. Frog
    Frog says:

    Hi Jim,

    Great post.

    I was told in my previous employment to hold a smile through a telephone conversation as it helps to make you sound cheerful. I was informed that call centre personnel often place a mirror next to their phone so they can see themselves while talking to a customer. Sounds creepy to me, smiling to yourself… but I guess I backs up your point about the importance of being nice, and sounding approachable.

  9. Jim
    Jim says:

    @Frog: Having worked in a place that had a call centre I think there are entirely different reasons they place a mirror next to the desk LOL! I would have to agree with you, it does sound a bit on the creepy side.

    It was interesting, the other day I took my Macbook to the “authorised repairer” in York and the woman there was so defensive it was unbelievable… it did remind me a little about this topic, as there was no need for it at all. As it was I let her get away with it, but I could see how another person in my shoes could have butted heads with her 😀


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