For example, one person who responded to my online chat room question replied, "When they give you a marriage proposal." Or "When they name their first born after me."
Hmmm. I know from experience that not every question will evoke a serious answer. After all, these are techs we are talking about, some of whom may have answered after a long day of work or after having a few pops (of the alcoholic variety).
On a serious note - if there is one to be had - some of the answers were just what I expected. I'll share some of them with you and maybe you can return the favor, er, compliment.
BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS...I like to think that a good compliment is when the customer pays the bill sans critical comments (unlike the guy who paid his income tax with a check laced with profane comments about the IRS). Getting paid is a compliment, as one person said.
Here are some others that caught my eye:
Some technicians believe that an ultimate compliment is when they are allowed to step out of their uniform, so to speak, and become more personal with their customers. There are no rules as to where a person can cultivate new friends, especially when it comes to close relationships formed out of the service trades. Here are some examples.
That last one got to me, much like this one: "I fixed a very prominent lady's heat on Christmas day years ago. She sent me a thank you card every year until she finally passed away three years ago. I'll never forget her, and don't mind those holiday calls to this day because of her."
AND THE WINNER IS...In my opinion, the ultimate compliment is a referral. I think the best form of recruiting new customers is through word-of-mouth from existing customers. If you don't cultivate this important feedback, you are missing out on the best and most cost-effective means of advertising.
Obviously, other people shared that same opinion.
I wish I had more to share, but my word count is too high. If you want to hear some more, including one tearful/joyful story, drop me a line. Or e-mail me your ultimate compliment.
John R. Hall, Business Management Editor, 734-464-1970, 248-786-1390 (fax), firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: 07/17/2006