Business Insider has published an article explaining why employees at one warehouse club are so friendly to its members when they walk through the door. They're paid to be nice. Yet isn't, or shouldn't that be part of the deal if you're working a job that deals with consumers?

The Business Insider article says Costco has verbiage in their employment agreements that talk about how great customer service is the company's most critical commodity and that without it all the other efforts of the company would be fruitless. The business site also talks about a smile policy, although one employee says it's not one of those policies that are overtly enforced by managers.

Costco isn't paying employees specifically to be nice to people either, it's baked into the training and culture of the company when you get down to brass tacks.  The website asserts that Costco's higher wages and good benefits help ensure their employees are happier and more likely to buy into and execute their culture.

It is kind of a no-duh moment though and not limited to Costco. Waitresses at Hooters are paid to flirt. Right? Otherwise, they probably wouldn't be so into all their customers. Business Insider also mentions Chick-fil-A too. Yeah, being nice to you is baked into their culture as well.

Of course, not everyone in a customer service role is always friendly, regardless if it's baked into their employer's culture or not. We've all experienced the cranky drive-through employee who seems put upon when you ask for a lid for your ice cream sundae. Or an extra sauce packet for those nugs. Or the wait staff member who's about engaged in serving you as a wet fish.

Yet the reality is most of the people you meet that are taking care of you in a service business, are being paid to be nice to us. It may not be baked into the business's culture. Yet, in some way part of the deal is, being nice to the people that come through those doors.

I've worked a variety of jobs over the years and most of them had me dealing with the public. I can tell you, I've sold cars to people who I didn't like. I've checked out customers that were downright annoying. And I've been patient with folks on the phone that seem dumb as a box of rocks.

Do you know what I've learned, though? In most cases, it pays to be nice, whether it's baked into the culture or not. Whether the customer is nice or not. Being nice has helped me land jobs. Get promotions. And build goodwill. Looking at it this way, being nice pays. Literally and figuratively.

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