Good service should be like #goals
I was sitting at one of my favorite coffee shops in Chicago: Ipsento 606, located in the hipster area of Bucktown, when the barista went above and beyond for me. Fifteen minutes earlier I was shopping for bagged coffee (they roast their own beans) and I asked her what she thought of the Guatemala offering. I already ordered tea so I couldn’t order another caffeinated drink but she indicated it was available as a pour over order. I declined and bought the coffee anyways, based on her recommendation. Fast forward, she received an order for the pour over from a later customer and gave me a taste of the reserve from that order.
That’s good service. That’s mindful hospitality. And it’s scarce these days.
Every time I go to Whole Foods, I have a bad experience. Yesterday it happened twice: the first time I asked a woman who was putting something away in the “Body Care” section, if she could show me where the aloe vera gel was. Without looking at me, let alone smile, she got up and walked over to the aisle where it was located, expecting me to follow even though she didn’t say one word to me. The second time was with the same woman — I found her behind the register for “10 items or less” finalizing a transaction with a customer. I had a question regarding proper storage so I went to her considering she helped me find the aloe vera, and before I could inquire, she rudely waved me over to the next aisle saying she was closed.
“I just wanted to know the shelf life of the aloe vera gel, do you know?” I asked her, suspecting she’d blurt the answer without giving me eye contact.
She replied, without looking at me as I suspected, “I don’t work in Body Care. You have to ask someone over there”.
I stood there for a moment, half shocked. I was mad. I wanted to walk out but I really needed the aloe vera and there’s no store near my house that carries it. I wanted to report the incident but then again, I believe in choosing positive reinforcement over negative feedback.
I work in the restaurant industry and how I extend exceptional service to my guests is my number one priority when I am at work. My husband works at Trader Joe’s and they have a rotational position that focuses solely on the customer. Everyday, the employees take turns walking around the store, checking to see if a customer may need assistance, is trying to locate a product or has questions. It’s the main reason why my husband took the job and has been working with them for ten years.
Positive reinforcement: what is our role then?
Let us join forces to encourage the goal of good service in every opportunity we can get. With the younger generation coming into the work force, we need to find the time to teach them to embrace awareness — because when this is mastered, good service becomes the name of the game and only then it will become a win-win situation.