I walked into a store and I was greeted with, “Hi, can I help you?”
Yes, I’m doing some wiring for an aunt, replacing exhaust fan in her bathroom, and I need to talk with your electrical expert.”
“Oh, I don’t think we have anyone, let me check.” And with that they invited me to follow them and we found a person who might be able to help. But they couldn’t. But that person said we should check with… and led me to another person, But they couldn’t answer me either. One last person in the store who might be able to help, but he was busy with another person.
I said I would wait. And I did. They person who might be able to help me was engaged in problem solving with another person and it was taking a while. But I was reminded in a timely fashion that the gentleman would be with me as soon as he was finished with the other customer. It was a while, but I waited. At first a little annoyed at how long it was taking, didn’t they know I was waiting? But then I was encouraged; this man was making sure he did everything to help the other customer; when it was my turn I was confident he would give me sufficient time for help I needed. And he did.
Later that day I walked into another store and was greeted with, “Hi, can I help you find something today?” My reply, “No, my wife is in the craft store next door and I’m just browsing.” The response was, “Oh, that’s great, just let me know if you need anything and I’ll be happy to help. We’ve opened this store about a year ago and I’m still trying to get to know people. Are you from around here?”
From that point a most pleasant conversation opened up and we talked the time away until I felt I needed to check on Shirley. It was a pleasant experience and I look forward to visiting that store again when I am in that town. In fact, if I need something that they handle I may very likely wait to buy it until we visit Shirley’s aunt again.
An interesting experience. Leadership is customer service. In both cases I was treated as an important customer even though I wasn’t there to purchase. I never felt pressured and I never felt like they were patronizing me with the intent that if they helped me now I would buy later. I never felt that way, but afterwards, in retrospect, I feel that way.
Great leaders know, but are often unaware of the consequences of their actions. But their actions brings great awareness of the strength of their leadership.
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