Is Your Service a Means or an End?

I have a new handyman.  And, Mike is terrific.  It all started with a simple chore—power washing a sidewalk and applying a concrete sealer.  I had power washed it before but the sycamore trees nearby had stained the concrete so much it need a pro with an industrial strength power washer.  Mike came highly recommended.

Mike showed up on time, had a very cheerful attitude, gave me a reasonable price, and offered to do the decks nearby at no extra charge.  Watching him work communicated a lot about his disposition toward labor.  He looked like he was playing golf or baking a cake or building his daughter a playhouse.  It was clearly a labor of love not a laborious chore.

When he finished he knocked on the door.  I handed him a check.  “Thank you, sir,” he said. “But, before I take your money, I would like to make sure you are happy with my work.”  I assured him that I was.  And, I was curious about his attitude.  “What makes you so noticeably happy doing this type of work?” I asked.  I got a quick lesson in purposeful work.

“This is not my job,” he explained, “this is more like my hobby.”

Before I could speak, he continued.  “My brother is in rehab.  His painful stretches and aching exercises are a job.  My nephew has cancer.  His really bad nausea after chemo is a job.  I decided I was a lucky man to be healthy getting to earn a living on my own terms.  The money you give me pays my rent; but getting to do this work is my best payment.” 

What if you power served your customers like Mike power washes concrete?  Make serving others an end in itself not just a means to a paycheck.

About Chip&John

Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling books. Their newest book is "Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it."
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