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It’s All About the Service

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 7.43.02 AMThe sign posted on the van windshield stated, “My job depends on my positive attitude, great service, and the customer’s satisfaction.” The driver had greeted each of us 16 passengers with a nod, a smile, and “Good morning.” He loaded our suitcases in the back of the van and then invited us to find a seat.

Before he started the van he announced, “The ride to the airport will be about an hour. Please tell me if you’re too warm or cold so I can adjust the temperature, and you can adjust the air vents above you. Sit back, enjoy the scenery, and we’ll travel safely.” And that’s what happened. As we travelled, that sign grabbed my thoughts. I sometimes long for the days of full service, especially when shopping for clothes.

About fifteen years ago, I bought a blouse because of great service. I’d found a pair of pants that looked long enough to fit my six-foot tall frame on a sale rack. “I think they’ll be short, but try them,” the sales clerk said. She was right. “So do you only want black pants or are you open to other colors?” Any color, just long enough.

While I sat in the dressing room, she chose pants and brought them to me. Some I tried on. “No. Long enough, but too big in the waist.” “Too tight.” I appreciated honesty. But, the jeans were perfect. “Are you interested a Foxcroft blouse? We just got new ones and they run long.” I wasn’t shopping for a blouse and didn’t know the brand Foxcroft, but I was willing to try.

That button-up-the-front, shirttail blouse is still a go-to. Almost every time I wear it, someone compliments the bright blue color and asks where I got it. I know the salesclerk worked on commission, but she was upbeat and friendly and carried a closetful of clothes to my dressing room.

About three years ago, I shopped for a dress to wear to the Fur Ball in a branch of the same store and the customer service was as expected. After choosing five dresses, I was guided to a dressing room. “Looks like you’re going to Cinderella’s Ball.” The salesclerk hung each dress on a separate hook. “Which is your favorite? Try it first.” I reached for a long black scoop neck dress and salesclerk said, “I can help you with zippers and such or get out of your way.” I welcomed help. None of those dresses fit. So the clerk brought others and when I didn’t choose one, she remained positive and friendly. I worked in a dress shop years ago– in the days when the customer was always right – and I know great customer service takes determination and effort.

Haven’t we all chosen a restaurant based on service? A run-of-the-mill cheeseburger tastes better when it’s served with a smile and a tea glass is refilled without asking.  And if I’m told, ‘have a good day,’ when I’m handed a takeout order through a window, I smile.

Nowadays, it seems that self-service is the norm. I pump gas and clean my van windshield with the service station’s squeegee, and when buying only a gallon of milk, I use self-service checkout. But I truly appreciate good customer service.

So I shop where the employees show positive attitudes and provide great service. Then, just like the driver’s sign said, I’m a happy customer.