Customer Service – True Story ~ Barbara Glanz
A few years ago, I was hired by a large supermarket chain to lead a customer service program to build customer loyalty.
During my speech I said, “Every one of you can make a difference and create memories for your customers that will motivate them to come back. Put your personal signature on the job. Think about something you can do for your customer to make them feel special; memories that will make them come back.”
About a month after I had spoken, I received a call from a nineteen-year-old bagger named Johnny. He proudly informed me he was a Down Syndrome individual and told me his story.
“I liked what you talked about!” he said, “but at first I didn’t think I could do anything special for our customers. After all, I’m just a bagger.”
“Then I had an idea!” Johnny said. “Every night after work, I’d come home and find a thought for the day. If I can’t find a saying I like, I just think one up” he added.
When Johnny had a good Thought for the Day, his dad helped him set it up on the computer and print multiple copies. Johnny cut out each quote and signed his name on the back. Then he’d bring them to work the next day.
“When I finish bagging someone’s groceries, I put my thought for the day in their bag and say ‘Thanks for shopping with us.'”
It touched me to think that this young man with a job most people would say is not important had made it important by creating precious memories for all of his customers.
A month later the store manager called me. “You won’t believe what happened. When I was making my rounds today, I found Johnny’s checkout line was three times longer than anyone else’s! It went all the way down the frozen food aisle. So I quickly announced, ‘We need more cashiers; get more lanes open!’ As I tried to get people to change lanes, no one would move. They each said, ‘No, it’s okay; we want to be in Johnny’s lane – we want his ‘Thought for the Day.'”
The store manager continued, “It was a joy to watch Johnny delight the customers. I got a lump in my throat when one woman said ‘I used to shop at your store once a week, but now I come in every time I go by, because I want to get Johnny’s ‘Thought for the Day.'”
A few months later, the manager called me again. “Johnny has transformed our store. Now when the floral department has a broken flower or unused corsage, they find an elderly woman or a little girl and pin it on them. Everyone is having a lot of fun creating memories. Our customers are talking about us – they’re coming back, and bringing their friends.”
A wonderful spirit of service spread throughout the entire store; all because Johnny chose to make a difference!
Johnny’s idea wasn’t nearly as innovative as it was loving. It came from the heart – it was genuine. That’s what touched his customers, his peers and those who read this story.
When it comes to customer service, one person can make a difference and that person can be you. When we truly focus on our customer’s needs and show them that we care and do something a little extra to surprise them and delight them, they will be loyal customers for life. Great customer service comes from the inside out; from the heart. It’s your choice.
It doesn’t matter what your job is, how much change is going on around you, what your boss is doing, what your co-workers are doing, you can make a difference in every interaction you have. If Johnny can do it, there is no reason why each one of us can’t do it too.
Great service comes from the heart and what greater gift or service can you give someone today than a free membership into ShopFreeMart?
Will you be a Johnny today?
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