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How to Use Kindness to Increase Your Business

Updated on February 27, 2013

"Getting money is not all a man's business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life."~Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson was an English writer in the 18th century. He made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet essayist, moralist and editor

What is kindness?

Dictionary.com defines it as the state or quality of being kind, friendly feeling or liking, a kind act, favor or behavior

It's synonyms include:

humanity, generosity, charity, sympathy, compassion and tenderness.

These are not words that are generally thought of as synonymous with business. As a matter of fact, as I write this, Shark Tank is playing in the background. Shark Tank is a reality TV show that features entrepreneurs and business executives (sharks),interviewing other entrepreneurs who are seeking investors for their business. The sharks can be ruthless. In so many ways, we have been conditioned to think that ruthless and tough will get us further in business.

"As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency."~Caroline Kennedy


Why kindness?

If I had to choose between two different companies, all things being equal as far as price and product, I would choose the one that I felt cared about me more. I would choose the one that went the extra mile.The current economy is making savvy shoppers out of just about everyone. At that same time, many are also becoming wary. It is also forcing many companies to downsize. What happens when you downsize? You can't always provide the best possible customer service. That can cause overworked, harried people who are consistently operating on overload. Patience and kindness are paramount.

"Kindness can become its own motive. We are made by being kind."~Eric Hoffer


Good Customer Service

According to Shep Hyken, Customer Service Speaker, 70%of customers are willing to spend 13% more with comapanies who give great customer service while 78% of customers have bailed on a transaction because of poor customer service. Those are some pretty heavy numbers. There's a lot of business out there and someone is going to get it. Good customer service means delivering the product on time, as promised for the agreed upon price. So, where does kindness fit in?

H.O.W.

Hubwriter, bullybuc aka Bill Holland started a movement called H.O.W Humanity One World. He started this in an attempt to help the less fortunate in the world. He has gathered an amazing , talented group of hubwriters to help spread the word. I have been honored to have contributed several hubs to this cause. If you are interested in what we are doing, please check out our website and facebook page. There is also a list of al the articles in this movement that have been published. I urge you to check it out.

I am including this article in the H.O.W. Movement because kindness is the beginning and the premise behind good deeds. As individuals, we often think that doing good deeds to help bring about change in the world means donating money or physical products. We forget to put a value on our time, expertise or kindness. There are a myriad of ways to help and kindness is at the top.

"Treat everyone with respect and kindness. Period. No exceptions." ~Kiana Tom


Steps of Kindness in Customer Service

  • Kill them with kindness.
  • Be sincere, be apologetic, if warranted.
  • Put yourself in their shoes. Treat your clients the way you would weant to be treated.
  • Never let them see you sweat! Keep calm with reasonable solutions.
  • Be respectful. That should be a given
  • Be friendly.
  • Show interest in them. Listen and remember.
  • Own it
  • Be accountable

How many times have you walked into a shop just to look and ended up buying something because the sales associate was so engaging? On that same not, how many times have you walked out because the associate was off-putting?

Keep in mind that you don't know where that person has been or how he has been treated before he came to you.

H.O.W

Humanity One World
Humanity One World | Source

"Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness."~Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Humanity One World (H.O.W.) is a positive, pro-active step in the right direction.

Kindness within Company Walls.

Another thing to consider when thinking of building business with kindness. It's not just about kindness to your clients and customers, it's also about kindness to your employees. How often do you hear stories about the best and/or worst employers. When you hear the about the worst, how apt are you to use their services? Most of us know that we we will be treated better by a company who respects and cares about their employees. The employees who are treated well, are more satisfied and ready to share the kindness that has been bestowed upon them.

Humanity One World (H.O.W.) is a positive, pro-active step in the right direction.

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    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much, manarita and welcome to my hub. Bill is pretty amazing!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Noble and beautiful ideals we all need. So KIND of you! (Smile).

      Seriously, we cannot have enough of kindness, and Bill and others are doing a superb job!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Laguna! I so appreciate the support! In my opinion we really can't be too nice in business, even our especially when dealing with the toughest of customers!

    • LagunaAlkaline profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Camas, WA

      Awesome hub! I "own my own business" and I definitely try to be as kinda as possible. It's saddening to think that some businesses can't or don't know how to be kind to their customers. I think it's an essential part of having or working at a business (especially in customer service). I voted this hub up and awesome!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for your comments, Patricia. I couldn't agree more. I want to feel valued. Sending angels right back at you {} {} {}

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      This is a great article, btrbell.Kindness in business and elsewhere is a way to make a difference throughout our whole community.

      I can tell you for certain that a business that goes out of their way to have excellent customer service is the one that gets my business, hands down, every time.

      I honestly do not shop in a store that seems to not care whether I am a consumer or not Many businesses where I shop have stepped up their customer service and make you feel welcome and valued even if you are just passing through the store from one section to the next. A perfect example is a very large store here in Florida where, every time I enter, I feel like queen for a day. Every worker speaks and offers to help, every time I go there. There is a smile on their face and kindness in their voices. So of course they reeled me in. And I will continue to go there because I feel like they want my business.

      thanks for sharing this and for making it a message for H.O. W.

      Sending you many Angels this evening. .:) ps

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, FSlovenec for stopping by and your comments! Much appreciated!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hi Peg! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your experience. It is so nice to hear about a positive one!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you lovedoctor! I appreciate your comments and votes!

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      People do business with people and we do business much more easily with people who are interested in our interests rather than theirs. We teach account executive who call on senior executives in Fortune 1000 companies this is the mantra. It is the recipe for success for any business.

      Thank you

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Customer care and good service is becoming a rarity but when it does happen it is truly a gift. We had a wonderful experience last weekend when getting tires at Pep Boys. The service techs were knowledgeable and courteous, helpful and friendly, even answering our question about where we might get a bite to eat while we waited. The guy walked out the door with us, pointed to a little restaurant across the way and recommended it as a "family owned restaurant". I will definitely be going back again to both businesses. They even vacuumed our floor mats! Talk about the extra mile. Wow.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Voting up awesome! Attitude is everything. In the business world, success is 80% and the other 20% is what you know.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Frank! I appreciate your stopping by and your comment!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      a fantastic idea for a hub btrbell.. I think kindness is a lost art.. not just in business but in day to day life.. once again fantastic hub :)

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, catgypsy for reading and your insightful comments. It is true that we remember who did us wrong and thank goodness we remember who took care of us, too! The internet is powerful and fast! Most of us won't write a physical letter if we have to go through all the motions of getting paper, pen an envelope and stamp, not to mention, actually mail it....but an email, that's immediate!

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

      You are so right. I have been saying that, with the struggles people are going through today, they will remember the companies that treated them well and fairly, even when times get better. Customer service is so important, now more than ever! Also, with the Internet, companies don't seem to realize how fast word spreads. I know I certainly tell anyone and everyone about a business that has screwed me over or been rude or unfair. Great hub btrbell!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Abby. You are right. When stores are cutting back, there isn't time for a pow wow. You might get a "blast fax" but that's about it!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I am so sorry for your experience, Amy! Corporations are all about the bottom line. What they fail to realize is that their "quick fix" impersonal service is going to end up costing them more down the road. My company is the same way. It's very discouraging and disheartening. Not to menti0on, frightening!

      But, I'll just bet your old boss got a pang when he thought about your million dollar smile! No money can substitute that! Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Great post and much needed advice for this generation! I remember when I worked in retail years ago. Lord & Taylor was one store that taught us these exact principles. We also had a 5 minute Pow Wow meeting prior to our shifts to remind us... something that is so needed in the market today. :-)

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      It's a sad statement to the automated world we live in, Randi, when kindness is the exception rather than the rule. When I began a 13-year stint at my last workplace, kindness went a long way on the switchboard, as I learned the ropes. During my time at a small, family owned electrical company, my first supervisor decided I spent too much time on incoming calls being friendly, and I left my first annual review in tears, feeling I was not a match for the company philosophy. The following year, this same supervisor apologized for his criticism as the president of the company was getting daily voicemails complimenting the warm, caring, problem solving receptionist on the switchboard. Unfortunately, I was naive and when the bottom dropped out of our economy and construction hit rock bottom, layoffs were necessary. I had been repeatedly told I was a vital part of their corporate family and I survived the first year of layoffs, but eventually my position was upsurped by an automated phone system and I was shown the door. It felt especially cold when I was told "it's not personal, it's just business." Though I am a realist and understand I was simply another employee paid for my services, and let go when it was "do or die" for the business, I still felt betrayed by a team that put so much emphasis on team players and "family", who apparently pretended concern during my recent divorce, wanted to see pictures of where my new digs were, and then surprised me one morning with a layoff two weeks following the finalization of my divorce. I've come to realize, Randi, that though I am still a friendly individual by nature, most businesses prefer the bottom line of profit. If it takes friendliness, they'll fake it for a dollar. They chose to keep the sharks. The nature of business seems to reward hard, cold profit over warm and fuzzy anyday. However, my personal experience remains avoiding those businesses with surly, 'put out' employees. Life is too short and competition offers options for competence served with a smile. Great article, my friend. Despite my bad experience iwith the business world, ironically, my boss got an email from a new vendor who told him that my million dollar smile made coming into their office an uplifting experience every time.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Martin, it has been reported over snd over that companies who reward positivivity, begat positivity. It still amazes me how many don't! You were lucky!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I know what you mean. I told them I'd have to wait until the Apprentice Program is over so I could write a proper perspectives hub. They are a great little group with such amazing hubs.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you , Mary! I always appreciate your comments, votes and shares. I couldn't see my way clear to do a how piece last month but I hated not contributing. This month I am supposed to write with the perspevtives group and I am worried that they won't be hsappy with my exclusive title

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. At my oil company we never got problems or complaints.We got gifts (to improve our business). We acted on and responded to these gifts.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Great hub btr and I like how you incorporated H.O.W. Ingenious! A tribute to kindness in the workplace, and kindness in general.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • JamiJay profile image

      Jami Johnson 4 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

      I liked this hub. It reminds me of the time a telemarketer called me, and took me by surprise because she was so kind, she spoke to me as if we were best friends and we haven't spoke in months (granted it was her first day), I stayed on the phone with her and agreed to sign up for all the baby stuff, until I reached the "manager" then I said, "oh, you need a credit card number? I don't have that, but your new lady is fantastic." and then I hung up... Kindness really does work.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Sad, but true, Bill! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Randi! This is such an important lesson for any business owner. It's amazing how many of them don't get it.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Carol! I couldn't agree more, especially since I am in retail and have to face grumpy customers daily! I appreciate the votes and share!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much Faith reaper. It is a sad sign of our economy and climate that people are so disgruntled. I appreciate the votes and share! Take care, Randi

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Kindness so appreciated when you are dealing with a store or business. Just the understanding about problems you have and being helpful.. However I find many are not so kind today. You did a great job this. so share and votes for you Randi

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      If there is any business out there, where this is not their motto for customer service, then it should be!!! I cannot count how many times I went into a business only to find very rude people working there. The people who the business hires is a representative of that business.

      Kindness in all areas of our lives is always best.

      Excellent and useful write here, especially for those who have a business, and if they want return business!

      Voted up +++ and sharing.

      Blessings, Faith Reaper