Okay, so I’ve griped about bad customer service, and we’ve all had those experiences. But today I had a completely different experience, and I wanted to share it. Partly because I’m not sure how common it is, so you may only get to experience this vicariously.
I’m wandering through a local furniture chain’s store, looking for a very specific item, and because I didn’t bother with my hair or make-up, I look a fright. And we all know how quickly service people rush to your assistance if you don’t “look the part,” so I was stunned and amazed when this saleswoman not only met my eye but also nodded and asked if there was anything she could help me with. Flabbergasted, I said, Why yes, actually I’m looking for a chair to go with an antique drop front desk that I have. She asked what I had in mind. Can you believe that? Wow, I thought, she actually cares what I want to buy and isn’t steering me to the most expensive stuff on the floor without a backwards glance.
So I explained what I was looking for, and she walked with me, chatting away about chairs and comfort and appearance and all manner of things furniture-y. I forgot that I wasn’t quaffed and buffed and looking glamorous and got into a fun conversation with her, enjoying the chair talk, even enjoying the three laps around the enormous showroom (thinking I could use a bit of exercise). She was patient as I wanted to look at this chair, then sit in it, then move on, only to come back and look again. She was, quite frankly, a dream salesperson: knowledgeable, patient, not pushy, interested, and she actually listened.
Turns out that the one chair I wanted there was only available if I drove to the next state (not as bad as that sounds, only about thirty or so mins) to pick it up. Um, no thanks. So she gives me her card, tells me the whatever special number of the chair in question, and tells me she’ll be around until 9 p.m. I amble out, quite pleased with my experience and with a far better idea of what I was looking for.
I actually bought a chair at the next place that I went to (great chair, too), but I called her up to tell her so (I’m sure she works on commission or at least in part). She was so fabulous, even then, having lost a sale that I told her with absolute honesty and sincerity that I would be keeping her card and that the very next time I needed furniture of any kind I was going straight to her. She was pleased, and then laughingly said she wished her manager could hear that. Well, thought I, why not? So I urged her to put her manager on the line; she did. I gave a nutshell version of the above. He told me that he was thrilled to hear it because he so often hears complaints.
And I realized that we are much more likely to complain about bad service than to go out of our way to compliment good or even great service. Wouldn’t it be great if we made the time to praise those who deserve it? It sure made me feel good today.