This week I had occasion to have a new tyre fitted, nothing remarkable about that (apart from the price!) you may think however that small incident reminded me about how good it feels when people demonstrate to you that they are prepared to go that bit further to make you feel special.
A few days previously I called into the garage to discuss my tyre, I knew I needed one new one and was really praying that the mechanic didn't make that sort of worrying noise, shake his head and say "this isn't looking good, you could do with another couple of tyres on here". I hadn't used this garage before and called in on the spur of the moment, not only did the guy who served me assure me that only the one tyre was needed but he also said that it wasn't quite ready to be replaced yet and another few hundred miles would do it, the rest of the tyres he gave me a progress report on which was great and so feeling comfortable I booked my car in for a few days time. We were chatting whilst he was doing this and I happened to mention that we were going away for the weekend.
The day of the tyre fitting arrived and I sat in the waiting room, writing my blog content actually!, when the original guy walked in who I have to confess I didn't recognise and asked how my weekend had been, I was a bit taken aback and asked him how he knew that I had been away and then I remembered he was the guy who had originally looked at my tyres.
He stood chatting to me socially about a few things and then went to check on my car and came back to tell me how long it would be before it was done. He also checked I knew when to bring the car in to check on the other tyres.
He didn't have to do this, who does have to give good customer service? but it made such a refreshing change to have someone take an unexpected interest in your life, it showed that he actually listened to what I had to say, paid attention and remembered it so that he could talk to me.
There is a lesson here for all of us, how many of us in our busy day to day lives actually listen to other people?
If you ask someone how they are, do you really listen to the answer?, could you honestly recall later key parts of any conversation that you have had with anyone during the day? Aren't we all just a bit too busy thinking ahead to the next thing we have to do just to take time to stop, listen and crucially pay attention, perversely we hate it when we are not listened to correctly, the doctors is a great example, I hate it when mine looks at his computer screen instead of me!
And how about at home, we may well ask our family how their day has been, but don't we then move onto thinking about having a shower, getting ready to go out or asking what is for tea and so we don't really listen until someone says "you're not listening to me !"
Why don't you take just five minutes every day for the rest of this week and give someone in that day your full attention and perhaps ask them about what they were talking about later that day or during the week.
You will make their day and you'll feel really good too !
And you never know someone might just do the same for you!
Oh and the name of the garage was ATS - credit where credit is due.