You really can learn a lot by watching and listening to people as they are conducting business. I am always looking for stories that possess a lesson for me to learn and one that I can share.
Often on the way to work I will stop by the local grocery store and pick up bagels or fresh fruit for the staff. On this particular day when I went up to the checkout stand my usual early morning clerk “Gabe” smiling away as he was greeting his customers (even at 6 a.m. this man is happy). This guy always gets an “A+” from me for customer service.
When I approached the checkout Gabe said “hello” and wished me a great morning, then stepped away and let a co-worker take over. This woman was less than friendly, she did not make eye contact, and she just put my items in a bag and slid it down the counter for me to pick up.
As I picked up my bag, I wished her a good day, she did not respond. The next woman in line had several cold remedies that she was purchasing. The checker asked abruptly if she were sick, the woman replied, “No, her children were.” The checker said, “That is good because I do not want to be around sick people.” She did not even look up at the woman to see that her mouth had dropped open.
Not only was the woman surprised at her comment, but so were the rest of us that were within earshot of the checkout stand.
As I walked to my car, I realized that this woman had not learned one of the most valuable lessons when working with people; that is being there in the moment during the encounter.
Whether you are serving customers in some capacity or working with a coworker you must be able to connect with them, “by being there” so that you can understand them and they you.
It is the personal connection that sets our interactions apart from others. This woman was definitely no “Gabe” that is for sure. She was not even close to being in the same category of a customer service representative as Gabe.
The difference between the two employees was like day and night. It was very apparent that this employee did not find it necessary to add “the good stuff” to her encounters with customers.
Today at work remember to add the good stuff, and maybe a little extra!