This post is a shout out to Eva and Liliana and some big gangly kid whose name I gotta find out. All of these superlative customer service experiences happened in the last 24 hours.
Liliana was gracious, charming, funny and efficient as she sold me a wristwatch at the Kmart on Patton Ave. yesterday afternoon. I felt totally at ease with her. She really knew her stuff – and was completely unflappable as I turned into Mr. High Maintenance. “But I don’t want to hold on to my receipt – I lose everything. And i don’t want to save the warranty brochure for the same reason….Keep it handy? If I kept handy everything I want to not lose, do you know what my room would look like? Can I hire someone from your department to come out and set up a filing system for me?” She totally got the humor of all of this shtick and we had a great old time.
On my way out, I chatted with my friend Shirley, who works with me at the grocery store and moonlights at Kmart (she’s amazing).
“Shirley, this girl is phenomenal – who can I talk to about her?”
“I know – she’s fabulous. Can you believe she’s a high school girl?”
“No, she’s way too mature and grounded.” (I guess I gotta get over my stereotypes of high school kids.)
“Go to the customer feedback website – it’s at the bottom of your receipt.”
I made a pact to myself I would do it before bed, which I did not. I will not publish this post until it’s done.
The kid at the sandwich shop last night – the scene of the “Go away!” caper described in yesterday’s post – was Mr. Charm, Mr.Pazzazz. He was a real showman. He was also great at customer service – catering easily to all my little requests for my sandwich. He also did a neat little upsell: “Sure you wouldn’t like a good draft beer to go with that?” I hadn’t thought of it, but it seemed like a good idea. I got a terrific amber beer from a local brewery (Altamont) that I had never heard of – the sandwich was better for it. It occurred to me to try to talk with someone about him, but there didn’t seem to be anyone around and I let go of it. As I was leaving, this kid was totally delighting a group of six college students. (I bet he’s a high schooler too.)
Eva took care of me this evening at the CVS on Smokey Park. When I had been there on Sunday I had a good experience with a young woman cashier who seemed determined to not make eye contact with me. I just kept praising how skilled she was at manipulating the cash register (which she genuinely was, apparently this was her comfort zone) – as we dealt with a refund, an online coupon and two gift cards – until she loosened up and even smiled, just perceptibly, at me.
Eva, on the contrary, was a dream. She took me to everything I wanted and acted like I was the customer she had been waiting for all day. I guess maybe I was. After I had harvested all my stuff, I passed on the shorter checkout line in order to get her, praised her for the second time and asked, “Is there a manager around that I can tell about you?” “Oh that’s not necessary.” “No I want to.”
The manager, a 45ish woman, was called and obviously knew about Eva. “I love my Eva – I miss her when she’s not here.” After I had given very specific detail about what Eva had done right, I told them both about my customer service blog – and they both seemed very interested to check it out. (You can tell your customer service people about it too.) Eva is either in high school or not long out. These kids sure explode the stereotype of high school kids giving terrible customer service.
Writing this post has got me more committed than ever to try to make sure that every great customer service person I encounter gets recognized. I got the brochure from the sandwich shop last night and am going to call that phone number, starting as soon as I finish writing this post and until I reach some manager to tell about that kid. I won’t publish this post until I get both of those feedback things done – it’s too easy to let them go!
I think we all have an investment in getting better customer service. Focusing our attention – and management’s attention – on what’s going right can make a difference. And it can really make some high school kid’s day (and they may end up being a supervisor or a store manager).