A question that not enough working people (especially in business) sincerely ask. With no intention of getting something out of the ask. Purely asking because you are trying to help someone, to care about someone else rather than getting something for yourself.
You can often just feel it or hear the intention of the question when it is asked out of kindness versus any other reason...most of the reasons are rooted in reciprocating or making a sale etc. One of my biggest pet peeves is walking into a store and someone asking me this question. Most companies force their employees to say it. You cannot hide genuine kindness. The fakeness or sale at the end of the conversation slithers its way past their teeth and rolls off the tongue and just simmers in my ears. I HATE it.
Designers are often in a pretty awesome position because when people come to you for work or in general...they already are in need of something. But what about others, when is the last time that you asked across the aisle to maybe someone who cannot afford your services and is struggle with solutions if they need help? The bottom line and power of the dollar is what drives us into just worrying about ourselves.
It is amazing to see that when we start to care about each other, things just get better...the bottom line included. People are drawn to it. We want someone...hell, we need someone to care about us. We are social creatures and we spend about a third of our lives at work around other people. So to be around others who are not faking it who are genuine in their intent is an amazing thing.
When we patronize other companies just how much better would everyone's experience be if we could care about one another. Not because you are a customer or employee...but because you are another human and so are they.
How can I help you?