Costa (my partner) and I recently met at a pub prior to a dinner booking. We experienced great service from a lady who was very attentive and we were all on a first-name basis. After some time, she disappeared and we later discovered that her shift had ended. This left us with a subtle feeling of disappointment. What had felt meaningful and human just minutes ago, all of a sudden felt incomplete and transactional.

This got me thinking about how great it would have felt if she had said goodbye before she left. Our night’s interaction with her would have felt genuine and our connection, no matter how insignificant, would have been complete.

There is a natural sequence that takes place when two humans interact. Even the most ordinary moments, conversations and interactions have a start, a middle and an end, regardless of how long they last.

  • In a team meeting, the sequence is the welcome, the agenda and the next steps.
  • In a sales conversation or service interaction, the sequence is the greeting, the transaction and the farewell.
  • In a meet-and-greet coffee catch-up, there is small talk, the point of the meeting and a thank you at the end.

Service interactions are typically experienced as an exchange of energy, and it’s important to carry this through to the end.

  • Don’t forget the next steps.
  • Don’t forget the farewell.
  • And don’t forget the thank you.

Commit to finishing what you started

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