Be Kinder Than Necessary

When I worked retail in college, customer service was a big deal. At the time, stores like Nordstrom and The Disney Store made customer service cool and novel – something that should be simple and genuine. Lately, I was reminded it’s truly the little things that make customers smile and happy with a company.

On a recent work trip, I stayed at Hampton Inn in Cleveland, Ohio, and the housekeeper left me sticky notes – one telling me about some clean linens she left and the other to have a great day. I wrote her a note back. I will choose Hampton Inn now off a list of hotels when I have a choice.

A sticky note, pen and a few seconds was all it took for me to become a repeat customer. It was that simple.

In an effort to support artisans, I sought some out to order presents from for my sister’s birthday. I had them shipped, and for some reason, someone other than my sister refused the packages when they arrived, so they were never delivered.

Ariane from Hello Totes went out of her way, re-sending the gift three times to make sure my sister received her present. She didn’t even charge me extra shipping. She also made sure to let me know she was equally as frustrated with the situation. Her emails completely reflected her artwork’s positive outlook on life, and now that I’ve gotten to know her a tiny bit, I can tell how genuine the work really is. “Be kinder than necessary” is imprinted on one of Ariane’s totes, and it’s obvious she believes it.

I liked her work before. I love it now.

Ariane went through far more complicated means to make me a repeat customer without making me feel like a burden on her bottom line. It’s obvious she lives and breathes her brand, and by taking those extra steps, I now want to order an item from her for every friend’s birthday this year.

Even if sometimes it’s more complicated than others, being nice and considerate are two easy ways to make customers feel special and make them patrons for life.

Tiffannie Bond is Imagine Communications’ Media Relations Specialist and Company Photographer. She can be reached at

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