Last Sunday morning, my wife and I were having breakfast at a local restaurant in Bandon Oregon. There was a friendly gentleman that was greeting people with a smile and seating people as they came in, or taking their name, if there would be a short wait. He was fun to watch!
What was most fun to observe was when a family of 5 came in and was waiting for a table. They had only been waiting less than 5 minutes when they decided to leave. Right after they walked out the door, the friendly host came by and called their name. When no one responded, he asked one of the waitresses, “Where’s Jennifer?” (The person who had just left.) When he realized they had left, he actually went out to the parking lot to look for them. I watched as he found them, and kindly informed them that he had a table all ready for them. They came back in and sat down.
I LOVE this guy’s commitment to the business and the customer all at the same time! From a business standpoint, he was able to save a sale that could have easily been lost. From a customer standpoint, he wanted to make sure that this family didn’t go away and have to find another place to eat, and potentially wait in line there too. Like I mentioned before; this guy was fun to watch!
I don’t know if he was the owner of the place or an employee, but regardless, he was carrying out his duties with kindness an excellence. May he be a model for us as we serve others.
This week I was at an equipment rental place renting a couple carpet blowers. The need for the carpet blowers involved a bathroom remodel, a piece of less-than-adequate piece of cardboard, and a cat. That’s a story for another day. Rest assured; everything ended well.
While I was at the rental shop the employee (James) took me in back to show me the carpet blowers they had. They looked good to me, so I said, “I’ll take 2 of them”. James proceeded to take clean off the carpet blowers and carry both of them to the checkout stand. I asked if I could carry one of them for him, but he said he had them, so we proceeded to the front to check out.
As we headed toward the front, there was a door we had to go through that was closed. I told James, “Here, let me get the door for you. I might as well make myself useful”. To which James replied, “You’re a customer. I consider that itself being useful.”
I was pleasantly shocked. From that statement, it’s clear that James doesn’t see customers to his shop as a burden or an annoyance, but rather as the reason he’s in business in the first place. His comment seemed so contrary to other places we’ve all visited where, as a customer, we feel like an interruption or an irritation to the employees. Based on James comment, I can guarantee that his is the only shop I’ll ever go to in the future when I need an equipment rental.
May we all take a page from James’s playbook and be mindful of the importance of the customers we may serve.