Well, I love great service, and I expect it from the upscale companies who charge more and put a premium on appearance, but sometimes I get great service where I don’t expect it.
Recently, I was shopping for a big event—breakfast for 300 people. I had my list and wanted to check out a local bulk food discount store to see if they had what I needed. So I marched in, list in hand, and got busy checking the items off. I wasn’t prepared to buy anything that day; I was just doing my research.
I was looking at the fresh produce when a man in an apron who was stocking strawberries stopped and asked if he could help me. “No,” I responded, “Just trying to see if you have what I need. I’ll be back next week.”
“Oh,” he said, “Let’s see your list.” See my list? He wants to see my list? Well, not only did he want to see my list, he wanted to walk around the entire store with me to ensure I found everything. Okay, this keeps going. Not only are we walking around together, but he is also giving me tips on how to call ahead and order what I need so the produce will be fresh.
Well, we are still walking around and he has my list. I want my list back, but he is marking it up with checkmarks on everything that we find. Not only is he putting checkmarks by each item, he is making notes by each item, such as aisle number and shelf location. What? Who does this? Who expected this kind of service from a bulk store? Not me.
You might be thinking what I was thinking…it’s just him, it’s not the entire staff. But I was wrong. On our way through the store, the manager stopped and talked with us, asked about the event, and she gave me even more helpful hints on how to save money. And it keeps going. After that, another staff member in the paper goods department took the list (there it goes again, and I really do want it back) and showed me how to look for quantities in cases, because that saves money and reduces the number of boxes I have to drag around.
Someone there has it right. I loved the experience. And eventually I did get my list back, with all the notes, and I will be back there to shop, not just for this event but for any future events.
If they can do it, can you? Could you and your team top that experience? I bet you can! I believe that great service can come from any organization that makes it a culture and customer goal.
Johanna Lubahn is Managing Director of Call Center Services for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.