Why being nice pays off

I have lived in London for little more than a month now. My daily routine includes getting the tube to Uni and on the way I pick up my morning reading normally a Financial Times, a Guardian and a bottle of water. I do this pretty much every morning. So I spend quite a lot of money for this if you take it time 365. At my tube station I can choose between two news-agents that sell papers. As I am coming from the right I naturally always went into that one. And I never though much about it. It is owned by a family (it seams) and the people that work there are not rude but they are not friendly and helpful. After going there for a month they still didn't know what I was getting. In the morning when I am quite grumpy the last thing I really want is someone to be grumpy back at me. But I just accepted it and continued buying my stuff there. Four days ago I came from the left so I thought why not try the other shop. And what a difference, I was greeted really friendly and I had a little chat with the guy behind the counter. The next day I went to the left one agin and the same guy was friendly again. Now after just four days he already knows what time I normally go to university and of course the papers I buy. It never occurred to me that in a world where prices are pretty much fixed friendliness is one of the last selling points. Location might be important too, but these two shops only differ in the staff. They have the same stock and same prices and pretty much the same location. So the reason I choose the left one is because I am treated in a friendly way and people remember me. This might sounds stupid but I bet you have all done it. If someone treated you in an unfriendly manner you would say to yourself "I am not coming back" and if someone knew your face after entering a shop three times you felt sympatric with that guy.

So what can we learn out of this for IT. In the IT ecosystem prices are quite fixed too and location is becoming even more irrelevant. So maybe friendliness is a major point. Maybe your costumer will chose you the next time because you remembered him, like I take the little hassle of walking one minute more every morning just to be treated nicely. If you are a freelancer this is really important, in my opinion, as at the end of the day you are not much more than the news agent competing at a train station. Just you are competing with 100000 other shops and not one.

1 comment:

Leo said...

Feeling sympatric?

You managed to mistype a word in a way that actually makes a strange kinda sense...