Radical Gratitude

A couple months ago I sent a general customer service inquiry to the Movember Foundation. It was a quick email with a question that wasn’t particularly important. I had never interacted with their customer service so I expected the standard response a day or two later – a sentence or two addressing my question wrapped in two paragraphs of approved-by-corporate boilerplate.

Instead, I received a prompt and thoughtful response from Anthony. It was unexpected. Beyond answering my question, he took time to ask about my Movember experience and thank me for my participation. We traded a few emails. He read and provided feedback on my post about my Movember experience. He was enthusiastic about my ongoing involvement and made himself available for future questions. It definitely didn’t feel like I was interacting with customer service. It was like emailing with a friend.

It was strange. I felt compelled to draw attention to it. After our exchange, I completed their online survey (screenshot below).

The only way you could possibly improve upon my experience with Anthony is if he'd dispatched a team of unicorn-riding Victoria's Secret models to deliver a gigantic and tax-exempt pile of money, a perfectly cooked filet mignon, and a marathon full body massage while the ghost of Stevie Ray Vaughan plays a medley of my favorite Hendrix songs. Seriously. This was the best customer service experience I've had in a while. Prompt. Thorough. Thoughtful.

My write-up was silly but I wanted my feedback to stand out to Anthony’s leadership as much as his handling of the situation had stood out to me. I wanted to be sure that Anthony’s great work was recognized. (I do need to point out that I misspelled the last name of one of my favorite guitarists of all time. It’s Vaughan not Vaughn. Typo-induced soul-murder.)

I think gratitude is really important. I am intentional about expressing my thanks in all aspects of my life and I believe it’s the only way to operate. We should live grateful. It’s vital to show our appreciation to those around us – in our families, on our jobs, and out in the world. Following my experience with Anthony, I decided that I need to up my game and practice what I’ve dubbed radical gratitude (Raditude?). When someone goes over and above, I’ve determined that I will too.

It happened again a few weeks back. Me and my wife were out to dinner at Tarrant’s in Richmond the night before the Monument Avenue 10K. Our waitress did such an incredible job that a textbook could be written on her technique. She was attentive, kind, and thoughtful. It was a Friday night and the restaurant was packed, but we may as well have been the only table in the place. Fantastic service. I left her a big tip and a note thanking her. I hope it made her day as much as her service helped make our’s.

This type of gratitude is fun. I love it and have decided to actively look for opportunities to demonstrate it. You should try it too.