Random Acts of Kindness – Just The Right Time, Don’t You Think?

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote/Workshop Customer Service Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training


Recently I’ve read several articles that shared some nice things to do with and for customers. They called them random acts of kindness.

They were all good articles. But after I read the articles I felt a pang of not guilt, but something that said to me, “Why just customers. Why not a life act for everyone? Why discriminate?”

We have coworkers, friends, family members, students, and even strangers to think about. I’m also not a fan of just being nice or remembering your mom only on Mother’s Day or dad only on Father’s Day. Well, you get the picture.

When you have the mentality of doing something nice ‘just because’ and for no reason for people anytime, you won’t need to think about what you can do nice for customers. It will become a standard operating procedure in your daily life.

So, I’m looking for some out-of-the-box, even common things, that we all can do daily as a random act of kindness for everyone.

If your idea isn’t on my list, I’d like to hear yours.

  • Let the person standing in line behind you at the checkout who only has 1 or 2 items to go ahead of you. It’s such an unexpected surprise. A common comment I hear is, “You sure?”
  • When there’s a military person in front of you (or behind you) and they only have 2 or 3 items that total less than $5 or $10, tell the cashier you’ll take care of the items. Then thank the person for their service.
  • At a drive through and the car behind you has 2-3 kids plus the driver. After you order your hamburger tell the lady on the speaker you want to pay for the car behind you. (Yes you can.) By the time you get to the pay window she’ll have their total for you and she gets to tell the driver after you leave “the car in front of you paid for your meal.”
  • Jot a handwritten note if you can (but email works) to someone in your past who had helped you – thanking them. Be sure to omit the word JUST. (i.e., ‘Just’ a note to say…). The word JUST demeans the real meaning. It’s not needed.
  • Did you receive a gift card you’ll probably never use? Maybe a Starbucks $15 card and you don’t drink coffee. Or a $5 off coupon that will go to waste because you don’t shop at that location any more. Surely you can find someone who needs it versus it expiring or being pitched.
  • You have some clothes or jewelry you’re about to pitch and remember there was someone who told you they really liked that item. Yeah, send it to them with a note. “Believe you liked this on me – it’s yours now.”

Have a random act of kindness? Please share with us.

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Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is founder/chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a featured speaker at franchise, association, and corporate meetings around the world. A popular TV guest, she appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as hundreds of other radio, television and print outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The author of 9 books on her chosen topics, Nancy helps corporate America improve their communications with their customers & co-workers. You can see her 9 books here. For more information, log on to Nancy Friedman's website www.nancyfriedman.com or call (314) 291-1012. Oh yeah you can email her at nancyf@telephonedoctor.com. Nancy is a recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame Award - St. Louis Small Business Monthly