How's your day, darling?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

How's your day, darling? That's how the desk attendant addressed me tonight when I walked into my hotel. Some people would be offended by that. Some would consider that unprofessional and maybe a little intrusive. For me, I see customer service.

Why didn't it bother me? There a lot of reasons, but for one, I live in a southern state and I'm in the deep south today. Southerners tend to be a little more effervescent. This young lady was about as sweet as you could ask for, and there was nothing about what she said or how she said it that was offensive. If I wasn't addressed as honey, darling or sweetheart at least once a day, I'd be disappointed. 

That's the nature of customer service. You have to know your audience. I don't give off an uptight vibe, and that is easy to see in person, but what about on the phone? If I was talking to her on the phone, my tone of voice, inflection and intensity would be a simple test. If I was all business in my tone, with no social interaction, her role would have been to reflect my tone with kind and direct responses. 

In another business interaction today, the checker at a store immediately greeted me and asked how my day was going. She was vibrant, well dressed and groomed, smiling and pleasant. Before I knew it, I had signed up for a store card and I had given a complete stranger my phone number and email address. Being one of those people who rarely does that, I did it because of her approach to me. 

While I was standing there, I was thinking she's the kind of employee I'd like to hire. Why? Because she was an incredible face for the company she represented. Does she get compensation for signing up unsuspecting strangers up for company cards. I hope so. Just like the desk attendant, she was the perfect face for her company.

Both women may get compensated for their great customer service. They may be fishing for great reviews. They may be trying to bring more business in the door. Regardless of their motivation, isn't that what anyone in a sales industry should be doing? Aren't we all trying to generate business? I was amused by both, but even more, I was impressed enough to give them both more business. 


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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I guess you have to know the local customs. We had one grocery store clerk for a while who called everyone honey or sweetie - and it was hard to get used to.

Meanwhile, I love that everyone in our local grocery store smiles and is pleasant. It makes me glad to shop at home.


Aug 30, 2018 04:38 PM #1
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

    I'm so glad the PC hasn't reached down here in Tallahassee.  Servers at restaurants, receptionists, and others routinely call me "Dear" and "Sweetie" and "Honey".  It's comforting, friendly, and can be good for business!

Aug 30, 2018 05:42 PM #2
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Mike- I too am from the south...Texas and everyone is yes sir or mam. And Sweetie is commonly heard. I'm with Fred Griffin I am so glad that PC doesn't touch my everyday world. How cold that would be.  Just last night we had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and we all remarked that not only is the food great but everyone who works there is always friendly!

Aug 30, 2018 06:09 PM #3
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I don't use those terms except with family and close friends... you made me feel a little sad about that because I used to, but you know I didn't want to offend.  

But I do think my southern charms shine through when I am doing business. 

My husband ( who isn't from around here) wigs out just a little, but he's always nice while being wigged out. 

Aug 30, 2018 08:57 PM #4
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Mike.

Honey and darling are just two examples of what southern people say when talking to others.  Love it, just love it

Aug 31, 2018 02:26 AM #5
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Mike, there's nothing I love more than going South and hearing darling, sweetie, or ma'am. The customer service is night and day and it's just plain refreshing. I like Fred Griffin comment, way too much PC here in the DMV.

Aug 31, 2018 05:17 AM #6
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I'm glad to read that stellar customer service still lives on today.

Aug 31, 2018 06:44 AM #7
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good afternoon Mike. I understand that responses must always be taken in context.

Aug 31, 2018 10:56 AM #8
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Back in 2014, I made a trip to the Carolinas and Georgia.  Everywhere I went I was called "Honey - Sweetie - Sugar". . .I absolutely loved it!  Whenever I get lonely and blue, I'm jumping a jet plane to the south!

Aug 31, 2018 05:30 PM #9
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Mike, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Aug 31, 2018 05:30 PM #10
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

That’s a very interesting way that tickles me so much even if it’s weird. Love and light!

Sep 05, 2018 10:05 PM #11
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Mike Cooper, GRI

Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
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