Seth Godin, in his post sees a big opportunity in being nice. However, being nice is just one more example of A Rule of Thumb ( like "Customer is King") you just unwittingly follow. It works sometimes but not always. Consider a company serving a big line of customers with just one employee manning the service desk. She greets every one, asks a couple of questions about their health and suddenly there is a mad rush at the end of the line and the company now needs two servers.
What is the best way to be nice? Simple! don't charge for your service. This is the mistake that a lot of people can make. I am not saying don't smile, or be unpleasant (even though the smiling kinds are costlier to hire and anyway even more costly to maintain ie. keep motivated) but the problem is just getting carried away by these rules of thumb. You need to really ask yourself, does this really impact your business.
BA, for example found out that it was much more beneicial to solve a customer complaint than to get it right the first time. Now should all businesses do that? Anyways, what would happen to all the six sigma experts, then?