We were sitting in the back seat of a cab. In front of me was a sign that read in part:" Please direct complaints or compliments to the department of..." I thought about this choice as we rode toward our motel. Obviously, if one is dissatisfied with the service or the fare, one should complain.This is fair and a way by which to correct any inappropriate service that the customer or client rightfully deserves. It is also easy to complain, more natural , almost instinctive.
I wondered how many people would call to compliment? I further wondered why they would do so? Of what benefit would it be to them? Can compliments improve service?
Upon closer thought and consideration I came to the conclusion that indeed complimenting can bring rich emotional rewards to both the giver and receiver. To extend gratitude to another human being is to open one's heart and experience the joy of recognizing a gift one has received. The recipient in turn gains the reinforcement of positive , competent and generous activity which insures continued, if not improved , service in the future. The provider fulfills his/her task not out of grudging anger or fear, but rather from a sense of wanting to reciprocate and continue receiving the warmth and gratitude of a satisfied customer. Gratitude spawns growing generosity and effort.
Perhaps if the department of... received more compliments than complaints, eventually service would improve so that both provider and recipient would share in the kindness and good will that all humans are capable of.
While it is easier to complain, perhaps the on-going process of complimenting will alter our response and frame of mind so that gratitude will become the natural part of our being, and not grumbling or complaint. The next time I find myself with the choice, I will call to compliment, not to complain.