Although quite young, I can still remember my parents asking me, “What do you say?" as I was receiving something, be it a fruit, a gift, or a compliment. Of course, they were looking for the magical words “thank you", which many parents adamantly train their children to respond. Isn't it interesting that the very first training we encounter is to express gratitude! I find it very meaningful that, from the first Spiritual Law of Pure Potentiality comes the second Law of giving and receiving. Indeed, from the one comes the two, and with it, the dynamics of exchange. As written by Deepak Chopra “Giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives. " How can you use this law to provide your customers a most fabulous service, which they will gratefully appreciate, and remember?
1. Give thanks; What and gratitude It has been said that, if there was only one prayer, it would be one of expressing gratitude. And since this is our second piece, I would add that the second prayer could be this of asking for a way to be grateful again… Have you ever been so engaged into your desiring mind that you could only see what you did not have? It is as if the universe wants to lavish you with gifts, yet you keep on refusing them, a very painful position! On the other end, you have had the experience of not only accepting what life brings, but welcoming it fully into your heart… That shift in viewpoint is gratefulness!
Practically; Say thank you, often. Say thank you everywhere. Say “thank you" when you talk to your clients, when you write to your clients, on the invoices you send. Say “thank you" to your staff. Say “thank you" when you talk about your clients. Say “thank you" in your mind when you think of your clients, of your staff, of your computer. . .
2. Give thanks; Why and gratitude Let's see; on one hand, I deprive me of gratitude, and get to experience the deep frustration of not having what I want; on the other hand, I open to life and to being grateful and simply feel wonderful! Tough choice! So, I am not asking you to let go of the vision that you are forsaken, and that nothing works in your life. You can keep that perception; it is yours! I am asking if you can see a benefit to letting it go? How letting go of that thought would affect your health, your wealth, your surroundings, and ultimately the world?
Practically; Enter a gratitude practice with your clients; create a client of the month ritual, where you would let all your client base know that every month, you and your staff elect a client, to be “Client of the Month", and receive special privileges during the month, such as being taken out to lunch, or sent a couple of movie tickets. On the first of the month, you may also send an email, or design a board with your client's picture and name, and a little blurb about who s/he is.
3. Give thanks; Grate-fulness and gratitude The key word here is “fullness". Developing the ability of being totally involved in responding to what life gives, as it is, is the greatest blessing you can bestow on yourself and others. That quality of being fully in the moment of anything you may do, of bringing the totality of your being into it will organically engender grace. That experience of grace is amazing, because it is totally undeserved, in the sense that no one can earn it. Actually the very search of grace will elude it, as grace and “gratuity" are free. It is only granted unassumingly; amazing grace!
Practically; Do you have a full expression of gratitude to offer your client base? Do you have a system in place where you can show your gratitude, from the beginning of your relationship to the end? For example, you could send a hand written thank you note after the first contact, or immediately after you are hired. You could design a “good bye" package to send your customer when your work and adventure together are complete.
4. Give thanks; Kindness and Gratitude When you are in the full appreciation of life, when you are totally welcoming the whole picture, isn't it true that you belong, that you are one with all that is? There is no more giver and taker, there is just one entity, one reality. The seller and the buyer become one, simply because feeling one with the universe means that you are two no more. That is the ultimate kindness, to yourself and others, when you forget your identity, and when you lose your desire to receive for the self alone. . . Such a gift; that is so kind!
Practically; Perform random acts of kindness, be they a sincere compliment given to your customer, or a fruit basket. Know that the exchange, the trade, the gift, whether it is energetic or material is the kindness itself! Wayne Dwyer mentioned how extending kindness heals both the giver and the receiver as it unites them. A simple kind attention will make anyone thankful. Move from trading in kind to exchanging kindness; everyone will win!
5. Give thanks; Attitude and gratitude Marcel Proust beautifully stated: “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. " Do you like people? Are you genuinely happy to have friends, and customers? Are you truly looking forward to your time with a client? Are you naturally enjoying your exchange with the people you meet? Your happiness is the greatest gift you can give the world, the greatest service you can offer a client.
Practically; Give gifts, starting with the gift of your happiness to be in business with someone. Once that is in place, turn thankfulness into thoughtfulness: for example, provide a voice mail with “Tips of the Day, " have flowers or cookies delivered to your clients, offer an online gift certificate. And when what you provide is not what is looked for, give business to others: refer a client to someone else.
6. Give thanks; Children and gratitude Did you notice that children are naturally grateful? In “The Religious Potential of the Child, " Montessori Teacher Sofia Cavalletti writes, “The prayer of children up to the age of seven or eight is almost exclusively prayer of thanksgiving and praise. " Slow down aging and become a child again, gratefully!
Practically; Children respond to sensory pleasures, i. e. sight, colors and smells, from the color yellow to dangling keys, to baking aromas… Dazzle the children of your clients, the inner child as well as their kids, with fun colors, pleasant sights and sounds. Provide a drawing area, with crayons, paints and games. Pay attention to the music played in the waiting room, or on your answering device. Have fabrics and textures they can enjoy!
7. Give thanks; Surprise and gratitude The problem with the mind is that it thinks it knows something. That very knowing is what keeps the spontaneity out of life, and the possibility of being surprised. A life lived without a sense of surprise, of the unexpected is a life unlived, constricted by old patterns and fixed perceptions. Train yourself to notice what is surprising, what is extraordinary in your life… You may even find that, no matter what the conditions are, even the repetition of a yoga class, or of a daily meal can be a surprise! After all, isn't it surprising that we would have a whole world?
Practically; Practice spontaneous Customer Service. Out of the blue, send an article of interest, a beautifully wrapped candle, a pair of tickets to a ball game, a bouquet of flowers. Surprise and effect guaranteed!
8. Give thanks; Abundance and gratitude As offered by the Pope; “Now golden fruits on loaded branches shine, And grateful clusters swell. " When we can realize that we receive always more than we give, then life truly becomes rich. Gratitude is a magnet for the things you most desire. “Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life. " Christiane Northrup.
Practically; Give a little and you'll receive a lot. Give a lot, and you'll receive even more! When speaking, writing, lecturing, giving a class, give it all, all you've gotten to give! That will be received so enthusiastically that you will transform instantaneously strangers into referring angels.
9. Give thanks; Health and gratitude Interestingly connecting the dots between science and spirituality, psychologists are now looking at how emotions such as gratitude and thankfulness influence our health. Dan McAdams of Northwestern University, for example, specializing in well-being research, mentions studies suggesting that increasing a person's sense of thankfulness will lower stress. Psychology professor Barbara Fredrickson, who teaches at the University of Michigan, has found that gratitude directly lessens the effects produced by negative emotions such as anger and anxiety.
Practically; Is your business peace and pleasure inducing or stress inducing for your clients? How simple and easy is it to return an item? Might the use of cutting edge technology make it challenging for customers? Does your customer service return calls promptly, and humanly?
10. Give thanks; Opportunities and gratitude The more one practices feeling gratitude, the more one comes to the experience where circumstances do not matter. There is always another way to look at it, always a way to find a gift in the hand one is dealt. Can you see the wholeness, the holiness in this which you take for granted? By focusing on finding the good and the beautiful, gratitude naturally arises. When a challenge occurs, ask yourself: “What is my opportunity here? How can I see this as added value?" Indeed, there is always another way to look at it, especially if you ask to be shown…
Practically; Your worst experiences and most painful memories with your clients are your best helpers towards having a shining, beaming customer service. Welcome any drama, any rejection, any delay, any frustration as an angelic gift bringing development to your practice or business. Be grateful for these opportunities to evolve and to love!
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Mahalene is an Inspiration Anchor, an Artist, an Author and the President of Soulvision Axis, Inc. , a company assisting visionaries to unleash their creativity and awaken their spirit. She authored the Ten Techniques for heARTful living, as a result of 22 years of study and experience in creativity, communication and human development.
Beyond several local publications and national e-publications to which she is a regular contributor, she currently writes a blog (http://www.mahasblog.com ) and publishes a monthly e-zine, Stop Trying, Start Trusting Mahazine, addressed to visionaries, holistic coaches, and consultants on the way to birth their personal and professional leadership. She also offers a Seven Weeks Mini-course, mad from the heART, and mini inspiring movies. Please do feel free to check out her work; http://www.mahalenelouis.com