Let me tell you a story about something that happened to me recently. A few weeks ago, I had an editorial shoot at my studio for a magazine. I was photographing a woman who has a degree in nutrition and works for an organisation that deals with cancer. The image for the magazine’s story was to be of her holding an abundance of vegetables. Lots of vibrant colours. Full of life. The art director had selected a variety of veggies that she had lovingly washed and then oiled up to make look immaculate for the photos. The shoot was a lot of fun and I am excited to see the final product in the magazine in a couple of months.
After the shoot I tweeted, “Just did an editorial portrait shoot with the most perfect gorgeous vegetables and now all I want is a big green salad for lunch.” A few minutes later, there was an email in my inbox from Whole Foods. It looked a little spammy so my initial thought was to delete it but then I noticed “Domainsatcost.ca” in the subject. DomainsatCost.ca is my web hosting company who I have been with for years. I thought that it was strange to receive a message from Whole Foods that mentions my web host. I then looked at the actual message. It was not spam at all. It was a gift card for Whole Foods with the message “Get yourself some salad!!” That’s right, my web hosting company had not only read my recent tweet, but they had acted on it by sending li’l old me a gift card for something completely unrelated to their business but something that they knew I would appreciate. Random Act of Kindness. #RAK I loved it.
So there it was, I had been hit with a #RAK and I needed to pay it forward. For the past few weeks I had been pondering who I should send a random act of kindness to. There were lots of people that I knew who would love a little something to brighten their day but I felt like something would just happen where I could pay it forward. Something that just made sense to do.
Then last week it happened. I will try to keep my complaining to a minimum but if you have ever had to call Rogers (or any of your big internet supplier) for a change in service, you will know that it is frustrating. Super frustrating. No one ever gives you the same answer to your question and you get passed around from department to department. I was calling them to upgrade the internet at the studio and the short story of it was that I spoke to four different people and was on the phone for over an hour. Everyone that I spoke to except for one woman was snarky with me, even after I said that all I wanted to do was upgrade my service and GIVE THEM MORE MONEY. This one woman was kind, gave me her email address and wanted to help. She sensed my frustration and she did all that she could do to help me. At one point she was passing me onto another person but said that she would stay on the line should it not work with him and I needed to be passed back to her department. Well the other guy did not like that, shut her out of the conversation and then was rude, rude, rude to me. I had had it. I was done. I told him so, hung up the phone and emailed the kind lady. Within ten minutes she had replied and told me what service she could offer me. I said go for it. She wrote back telling me that a technician would be there on Friday. Boom. Bang. Done.
When no one else at this company seemed to want to help me, she went above and beyond. I was relieved. And to me, that deserved a #RAK. I sent this kind woman a gift card to Starbucks and felt pretty darn good about it. Yes, she was just doing her job but she was the only person who was willing to help me with my issue at that time and that was something that I really appreciated. It feels really good to give something unexpectedly to someone, especially a stranger.
And you know what else? You can for sure guarantee that I am a Domainsatcost.ca lifer now. I mean, I already was one but to see a company go well out of their way for their customers is an awesome thing. It’s a rare thing. It is also one of those things that can guarantee your success as a business. If you treat your people right, they will stick with you – and tell all of their friends.