April 22, 2010

Oh Goodie - More Outstanding Service!

I have a sign hanging in my office that says:

“Doing what’s expected only prevents customer dissatisfaction. You must do more than is expected to truly satisfy a customer”

Can I tell you about a situation where someone did more than expected?

I was out of my driveway early to head to Cincinnati for a session of our new Agent Development Program that I was going to teach. I was hungry so before I hit the road I had the urge to hit the consummate spot for breakfast sweets in my hometown of Upper Arlington, Ohio and that would be The Goodie Shop.

“Just a few donuts to eat on the drive down to Cincinnati” was my thought as I detoured to make a quick visit to the place where almost every resident in UA has had a cake, cookie, pastry or roll at some point in their lives.

I rolled into Tremont Center and thought to myself, “there aren’t a lot of cars here so I’ll have some good selection on the donuts this morning.” Little did I know that The Goodie Shop wasn’t open, yet. After parking and making the short stroll to the front door on a crisp April morning, I saw that their “OPEN” sign wasn’t illuminated.

“That’s okay,” I thought, “maybe the sign isn’t working.” I continued walking to the door.

No, it was working just fine. They didn’t open for a few more minutes. I saw some of the staff inside getting ready but I didn’t really have the time to wait until the doors would open. I could always grab a bite to eat on the road (but nothing close to what I would have received at The Goodie Shop), so I headed back to my car…until I heard the click of a door opening.

“Hello…Were you looking for something for breakfast?” said the voice I heard as I walked dejectedly back to my car.

“Are you serious?” I said excitedly and started jogging back to the front door. “I just want a few donuts.”

Carol was the Goodie Shop employee who made the decision to help a customer who wanted service. Carol was the employee who said to herself, “its a few minutes before our scheduled open time – but I’m here and the product is ready – so why not serve the customer who is ready, willing and able to make a purchase?”

I came in, made a quick selection of the always delicious Chocolate Frosted Long Johns. Carol went in the back (the donuts weren’t even on the shelf yet), grabbed my donuts and approached the resister with a smile. I thanked her for going above and beyond to which she said “it’s no problem. I am glad I saw you out there.” Wow! An employee of a service establishment caring about the customer? How unique...and memorable.

$2.50 later, Carol and all her team members at The Goodie Shop in Tremont Center hadn't secured a huge profit but what that had was an even bigger fan and loyal supporter than they had when my alarm clock went off today. Yep, I am pretty sure that Carol had me at “Hello…were you looking for something for breakfast?”

Carol went "above and beyond." Carol did something she didn’t have to do. Carol went out of her way to make a customer feel special and that their money was worth more than the generic exchange of goods.

Let me ask you - What can you do today to emulate the outstanding level of service that Carol provided? What will you do today that your client or customer isn’t expecting? How can you do something today that might be “blogable” tomorrow?

Thanks Carol…I appreciate you making me feel like an appreciated customer. Tell the chef the donuts were delicious.

Until next time…Build Relationships…Solve Problems…and Have Fun!