Archive for October, 2010

Vacation musings: customer service that makes a difference

October 28, 2010

I’ve been away for three weeks living the life of a tourist in another country, which means needing directions, feeling misunderstood because of my accent, never getting used to crossing streets because traffic is coming from unlikely directions… and having all kinds of resulting experiences.

Customer service challenges exist wherever you go, and positive experiences can really make your day.  They can color the way you remember a town, a restaurant, a drug store, a country, or an airline.  Ready for a story or two? I’m home now, ready to share.

Let me tell you about Sadie, who is a cashier at Boots Pharmacy, in London’s Victoria Station shopping mall.  She was busy, and I was unprepared.  I had been given a coupon for an impressive discount on Boots’ skin care line, and so chose the moisturizer and got in line.  I also picked up a few travel essentials, as this was just before the trip home.  As I went to pay, I could not find the coupon.  Wallet.  All those sections in my purse.  Coat pockets.  Nothing.  Reluctantly, I told Sadie that I wouldn’t be getting the skin stuff.  Too expensive without the coupon.  She urged me to check again, and so I did.  Still nothing.  She rang up my other purchases, and with a twinkle, handed me a new coupon.

Clever!  Now I was able to purchase the product I had wanted, using the coupon.  It was such a small thing for Sadie to do, being patient while the line grew behind me.

I got my bargain that had brought me into the store in the first place, I had a wonderful conversation with Sadie, and left with a sense that Boots Pharmacy hires good people and encourages them to make customers happy.

Thank you Boots, thank you Sadie, for enabling me to make the purchase I had planned to make.

I saw a beautiful example of an employee representing her company well.  I know that Sadie is what one calls a people person, and I hope she enjoys her job as much as I think she does.

Highly recommended: A word a day

October 5, 2010

Do you know about a free website that sends you a vocabulary word a day?  I love this site  You can read it and learn something (or feel smug because you already knew it) or you can ignore the email when you just don’t have time or energy.  All approaches work for me.

Take this recent quote: Thank everyone who calls out your faults, your anger, your impatience, your egotism; do this consciously, voluntarily. -Jean Toomer, poet and novelist (1894-1967)

I didn’t know the name of Jean Toomer, but I have learned a few things.  He was a figure of the Harlem Renaissance, he tried not identifying himself by race, but simply as an American, and ended up in Pennsylvania, where he became a Quaker.  That history adds up to a lot of experience and an equal amount of insight.

What does it mean for a job-hunter?  How do you go about being open to negative feedback?

It’s hard and it’s rare.  But the insight you can gain is valuable beyond measure.  I’d love to hear your stories about feedback you’ve received that made a difference.