Elevating the Ordinary: How Pride Transforms Your Work — Photo by Shepard Presentations, LLC.

I love seeing amazement in action. I was at the airport last week with a friend who accidentally spilled his soda. Within moments, an airport employee came over with a bucket and mop to clean up the spill. My friend apologized for making a mess, and the woman’s response surprised both of us. She said, My name is Laura, and it is my pleasure to clean up your spill. And with a big smile, she added, It’s job security!

What a great attitude! Laura mentioned she had been working at the airport for seven years and was just a few years from retiring. She was friendly and funny, and her positive attitude about her job inspired us.

This experience reminded me of a chapter from my book, Be Amazing or Go Home. The chapter’s title is Sweep Like Beethoven Plays Piano. In that chapter, I quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said, If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’

As I reflected on Laura and her amazing attitude, I considered some of the other employees I’ve seen doing similar jobs in airports, hotels, and other types of businesses. Not everyone was smiling, and not everyone took pride in their jobs.

Excellence is a habit, and practicing excellence creates personal fulfillment. Most people would agree it’s much more fulfilling to aspire to excellence than to settle for mediocrity. When we aspire to excellence, it makes us feel better about our jobs and what we’re doing. It can give us a sense of purpose. Our friend at the airport, Laura, obviously took great pride in her job. I don’t think we could find a better example of Dr. King’s quote than Laura.

Let’s put it another way: If you’re going to do something, do it right. While this applies to any job in any type of company, I want to emphasize the importance of thinking this way as it applies to the customer experience. “Good enough” is not good enough. What is the likelihood a customer would return if their customer service or CX rating of you was just … good enough? Don’t be just good enough. Don’t be ordinary. Elevate the ordinary. Be extraordinary!

Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at www.Hyken.com. Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.

Shep Hyken
Shepard Presentations, LLC.

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