You're having a casual conversation with someone from your customer-service department when he makes an offhand statement: "Oh, you should hear how much customers love [fill in employee name/company product]." If you find such news surprising, it's time to rethink how your front-line staff handles praise.

They probably respond to kind words with thanks of some sort, but they should also inform management of the kudos received. "Understanding what you do well is as important as understanding where you need to improve," says Service Untitled. Under no circumstances should a customer's kudos wind up in the circular file.

Employees who have received praise from customers enjoy knowing when people appreciate their efforts—if they're mentioned by name, make sure they hear about the positive feedback. Service Untitled suggests recording commendations in personnel files for future performance reviews.

And don't forget morale-raising potential for the company at large. Whether the feedback is forwarded to a distribution list or printed out and posted on the wall, everyone benefits from seeing how employees are getting it right.

The Po!nt: "Positive feedback from customers is a big deal and should be treated as such," says Service Untitled. "The companies that just dismiss it or smile and move on are missing out."

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